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Value Economics: The Vision of Success

29/01/2014 15:11 GMT | Updated 31/03/2014 10:59 BST

I suppose nowadays it does not come as a complete surprise when we hear that there's another banking scandal brewing. If its not that most investment banks have been expecting interns and other junior employees to work in excess of 70 hours a week, it will be someone like RBS forcing viable businesses to the wall for its own corporate gain.

Those at the top of the organisation have tried to diminish their culpability by speaking of some kind of herd mentality in the financial sector that blinkered them ... yet again ... to what was right and what was wrong.

How far and how quickly the ripples from this will spread, time alone will tell, but without changes to prevailing ethics and values, corporate decisions will continue to have wide-ranging and adverse effects on the rest of us.

Some in the corporate sector seem happy to sell their own mother to achieve what they want. However, isn't it much better to know what's right or wrong, and to be able to sleep at night, safe in the knowledge that you haven't trashed someone's life, but have done something positive instead?

Given all this, it seems a good time to talk about trust and honesty, as well as vision and legacy.

Since everything we do has an impact on ourselves and others, either good or bad, what if we consciously chose the long-term legacy we wanted to leave behind rather than just taking self-centred short-term actions? where we have a world of Value Economics.

Take Paul Reichmann, for example.

Reichmann, who died in October aged 83, was the man behind Canary Wharf, the development that redefined the landscape of London's Docklands. Back in 1987 he staked everything on its success because he believed in his vision, only to see his company, Olympia & York, go bust five years later. Undeterred, he bought back the business merely to be "hammered again" in 2008 during the latest recession.

But, as Canary Wharf's Chairman, Sir George Iacobesuc said about Reichmann: "You have to wipe out the failure and look at what he has left behind".

Just like many other proponents of great ventures, such as the 'railway barons' of the Victorian era, Reichmann risked his money on mega-projects and lost out, but left behind a legacy of a great infrastructure - an inheritance that the rest of us can still enjoy.

Of course, if you're used to working in the corporate sector where stacking the cards in your favour can mean playing fast and loose with the rules so that you end up on top, leaving yourself open to big risks as Reichmann did, can seem naïve, even stupid.

But the reality is that most people - consumers and business customers alike - would much rather do business with those who do have integrity and vision and in whom they can trust.

In fact, some authorities, like the late Stephen R Covey, author of international bestseller 'The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People', see trust as the major leadership competence that's required right now.

Here are just a couple of examples of how trust can benefit your business in positive ways.

In 2007, super successful rock band Radiohead released their first online album 'In Rainbows' and told their fans, "Download it and pay what you like". The result? The band generated more revenue than it had from their previous album.

On a more topical note, given the traumas involving our own NHS, when the University of Michigan Health System (UMHS) encouraged its doctors to apologise for their mistakes rather than to cover them up, instead of the number of malpractice suits going through the roof, they fell ... because people appreciated the honesty they were being shown.

So, if you find yourself working in an organisation where trust and integrity don't have a home, what can you do ... what should you do?

There's only one answer, and that's to get out and do something else that is more satisfying and which is aligned with, and not against, your personal values economics.

'Today' is an ideal time to review where your life is at and to think about the changes that are needed.

That doesn't mean flouncing out of the office, but making a rational decision - taking the time to be clear about what you want to do, then building your reserve of the funds, knowledge and resources to increase your choices and then make things happen. Considering, a range of 'what 'if' scenarios doesn't commit to anything but will encourage a mindset that enables you to see things differently. Planning an alternative reality is therefore a prudent move that can help prepare you for whatever comes next.

If you are a corporate employee, then starting a business may seem an unattainable dream, but if what you are doing right now fills you with dread, or just boredom every Monday morning, then you owe it to yourself and your family to do something about it. Don't let mediocrity, low standards and apathy be your life's purpose, when you could be making choices that are honourable, ethical and which will bring you much greater happiness, satisfaction and prosperity.

We all know that it takes courage do something different, to move away from what we know, but not to do so, when it's the right thing to do, is not to be honest with yourself, and that perhaps is the biggest breach of trust of all.

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© 2014 Maite Barón. All rights reserved. If you'd like to use this blog for your ezine, newsletter or website please feel free, but do include a live link to my website and the following attribution: "Maite Barón, 'The Corporate Escape Coach™', enables 40+ executives and professionals to break free of the corporate rat race by helping them find out what is next for them in their professional life. For some that is to help them understand what work they were born to do. For others it is to help them find a better job in a more suitable corporate culture. For more and more, it is to help them transition from employee to self employed, to ultimately starting a business as 'New Entrepreneurs'. You can find useful resources, sign up for free reports and read more articles at www.TheCorporateEscape.com