Does anyone have any thoughts on the role of deception in business? I have this thing, I want to be honest in all my dealings. I do, however, practice deception fiercely when engaged in sports or strategy games. To me, this is perfectly okay because all participants share a context that ‘this is a game’ and deception is an understood part of winning the game.
But what about business? When I walk in the door of my place of employment, should I switch context to ‘game mode’? I have not so far done this. Perhaps I need to relax and play the game a little? Or perhaps I am right to be disturbed by what I see? It all depends on your point of view. In a game, the object is to make sure that you win and your opponent loses. The object is to make sure that you win as much as is legally, morally and ethically right or not. It all depends about who is your ally and who is the other party. I think that an important part of ethics of business is deciding whom to threat as an ally and whom as an enemy. As long as you treat your customers and employees as allies, I believe you are playing by the rules.
The problem that society has with deception is that in business, business people want it both ways: they want me to lie to a customer and have us acting within the team as we haven’t done it. When I go to my Boss and say, “the product states it contains X but we don’t do X”, he will tell you, “handle it”. As a team, we have been directed to tell the customer something that is not true. Without the team management taking responsibility for lying to their customer, if the topic is brought up in a meeting, it will get brushed off and we will move on. Some corporates, “It’s okay to lie. Lots of people do it. As much as it’s okay to kill, lots of people do it”. With that unethical concept, we are losing our essence and humanizing skills. Applying the Art of War to every single economic transaction that our industry might do, keeping it as an excuse, saying that “It’s just a small lie. White lie we call it”, but at the end if you lose immorality and ethics when using deception, your own reality gets twisted. And the deception becomes the current reality.
“Appear weak when you’re strong and strong when you’re weak”. “The supreme Art of War is to subdue the enemy without fighting”. And my favorite one, “Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win”.
If you want to make money, you got to lie. Deception and Business are closely related to the Art of War by Sun Tzu: When you are far, seem near; when you are near, seem far; when you are weak, seem strong; when you are strong, seem devastated”
Overall, to leave you with an end personal quote, “your business will only get as big as the shadow of your character. If you feel deception is the right way to perform, then your shadow will lack of integrity”.
Enjoy the journey.
Remember, truth hurts.
RAUL VILLAMARIN RODRIGUEZ
Co-Founder/ Co- CEO
IRIANS- The Neuroscience Institute