Honesty – Integrity – Ethics
These are not just words. They are all behaviors intertwined in human beings. Being original and having one’s own thoughts is a quality to admire. Personal innovation is everywhere today, and it’s remarkable to me just how one person’s vision changes our world. We should always give credit where it’s due.
Barbara Giamanco wrote in an article titled, “Lie, Steal, Cheat, Copycat- What happened to Ethics?” that a colleague of hers shared a post from LinkedIn that told of a tale of the salesperson who “lied” to get a callback. Her comments went on to say that it wasn’t an accident. The salesperson in a voice mail said that his company was interested in her colleague’s sales training. After a call to the salesperson, she learned the truth. He was only interested in selling her his product.
Seriously? I thought that type of sales tactic went out years ago. Well, at least I thought they did. Go figure.
My grandmother would say, a lie of any color is still a lie.
Copyright Laws and Plagiarism
Copyright laws have been around since 1790 when the First Congress implemented the Copyright Act of 1790. It was updated in 1976 with the Copyright Act of 1976. Several other updates have been made to further protect intellectual ideas and materials. The laws have changed, but enforcement has become even more difficult.
Technology has advanced so much that it is easy to scour the Internet and find content that you can put your name on and call it yours. No original thought or effort has to be put into it, instead they call it their own.
While many of us believe that honesty, integrity, and ethics are a way of life, others will prop themselves up using what you created despite your best intentions to preserve and protect your assets.
As Barbara said in her piece, “The moment someone puts their name on their own original content, they own it. They’ve no doubt spent a fair amount of time to create their work. Respect that.”
Plagiarism Is Stealing
As a company offers quality products and services, there is pride in your work—this pride channels through all your communications to customers, suppliers, and the markets you serve. Creative thoughts are unique and owned by the creator. Innovation is the key to success today, and it’s more than disturbing to see others steal work and pass it off as their own.
Like many small business owners and entrepreneurs, I’ve been the victim of people using my programs and ideas without permission or even the courtesy of a discussion. The companies that are plagiarizing are just flat out stealing ideas from others and using them as their own. They need to be honest with themselves and look at the ethical mirror.
When a company’s leader condones this behavior, doesn’t it send a message to everyone in the organization that it’s ok to steal….. a little bit? Not a lot, but a little bit is ok.
What type of leadership is in place that supports these business practices?
What is the leader’s real character in life?
What would your grandmother say about the decisions you are making?
There are lazy competitors in every market who find it easier to plagiarize vs. to develop integrity-based solutions for their customers. Rise above this nonsense and be the best you can be. Your employees, customers and friends will reward you when you do.