Friday, February 1, 2008

Compete, Don't Cheat

In Scientific American, Michael Shermer asks the question, "Do all companies have to be evil?"

The question reflects the popular belief that companies are evil. Shermer makes the point that they can be very good so long as their organizational principles encourage the virtue of trust.

This reminds me of Coach Lou Holtz's advice to a man in the business of financial advice. Coach Holtz told him the customer only wants to know three things:

1. Can I trust you?
2. Do you care about me?
3. Are you committed to excellence?

Trust is the essential lubricant of commercial activity. Cheating, lying, stealing, violence and fraud are sand in the system.

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