Business ethics are key!
Back when I started working in my teens my Father owned a successful winery, we had a similar bottling line to the one above, I used to work on the end of the line stacking boxes onto the pallet. He always used to remind me “business ethics are key!”
Sometimes we would bottle 650+ cases a day! It was good for my biceps and my health of course!
When my Dad set up the winery (on top of my Mum’s vegetable garden) I was 6 years old. He moved a 16C barn from 14 miles away and put it up on top of the big cellar that had been dug.
He decided to employ people, he didn’t want to create an entire automated experience with just machinery and product and a person with a glove on the end of a pole to pick up the bottles when they had fallen over!
Instead, we had handmade products, they were the best on the market, we used to export our Mead, Rose Petal wine and others to Japan, Sweden the USA and even Canada, we used to sell our Liqueurs, Meads and Fruit Wines to the Historic Royal Palaces, English Heritage and many others around the UK for 25 years.
I learned a lot about business when working with my Dad; he is now 85 and happily retired. There is one story that I found particularly memorable and very relevant to this weeks meaningful conversations with clients!
This is not the story about the corruption of the NY council official, the apprenticeship scheme and the Gangsters who helped to fix this ‘Little Problem!’ That one I am saving for another time!
This story is for all the price shoppers out there, all you negotiators out there.
When working for his Father’s company- Flush Metal Corporation, Long Island, NY. He learnt many valuable lessons in business ethics and this one is an important one.
They employed over 100 people at the factory and my Grandfather, Nathan Schooler donated over A Million USD to charity throughout his life, so ethics were hugely important to him!
My Father was buying metal branded rulers at Christmas for gifts, the salesman came in to visit him in his ‘fancy’ new office and told him the price of the rulers.
My Dad said “Hmmm I am not sure about the price, can you do them for 50c cheaper?”
The salesman – turned to him and said “How dare you, you little pip squeak, I have a family to feed! This does not mean anything to your business, but to me, it is the food from my table!”
My Dad learned from this lesson that business ethics are key! He always negotiated fairly along the supply chain, despite the continued pressures in his business.
Isn’t it funny how sometimes the most difficult times and the most painful lessons in life create the best results and shape who we are as individuals for the better!
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Originally this appeared as a Facebook Note.