“The man who possesses character excellence does the right thing, at the right time, and in the right way.” – Aristotle
Success is a manifestation of your character. Who you are reveals itself in what you accomplish. Obtaining your success reveals outwardly for all to see what you possess within your person. It is a revelation of your very being.
Ethical success is the work to sustain your accomplishments in a worthy fashion. By this I mean you demonstrate your product or service as something valuable to the marketplace. You can only do this when you recognize that business is an extension of relationships.
And you must understand the depth of the term, virtue.
In today’s English virtue is simply moral excellence. It is a term set aside to express goodness and righteousness. We say that a virtuous person is someone who is good and does the right thing at the right time.
The foundation of today’s English understanding of virtue is built on a deeper meaning. At the turn of the 19th century virtue was a term expressing strength. A person of virtue possessed a substance in physical body. That is not a body builder of muscles but one of inner quality. It is the ability to be strong when tempted to compromise values. That means he does the right things or physically acts out an inner force of potent character.
The intense vigor of fortitude is connected to the English root in its Latin origin. Virtus is from vireo meaning worth. In its radical sense it means strength from straining, stretching, and extending oneself. In other words, it is not something you are born with but something that is gained through faithfulness to your values during times when you are tempted to compromise.
In business, you will be tempted to compromise your values in order to sustain your profit margin. Character is built by sticking with what you know is right even if it might cost you your profit. Truthfully, what really happens is you find a way to make things work through the hard times.
By focusing on the quality of your service you do not have to compromise the quantity of your product. Would you rather stay at a Hilton property or a Motel 6? Hilton does not compromise by devaluing its product. It does the opposite! It promotes its quality and retains leadership within the service sector.
The Latin basis for our English term virtue is why bravery and valor were definitions that preceded moral goodness. It takes guts to sustain your success in an ethical fashion. As Noah Webster explained in his 1828 dictionary, “Virtue is nothing but voluntary obedience to truth.”
Are you marketing something that is truthful? If so you can sustain your success without compromising your values. To do so develops character in you and your business.
The Greek term for virtue in New Testament time was areté (ar-et’-ay). It is goodness expressed through gracious acts. The acts are intentionally practiced to enrich one’s own life and business. By loving yourself in a proper sense you will treat your staff and clients properly.
Aristotle lived well before the New Testament was written. His belief was that genuine happiness lies in action that leads to virtue. To Aristotle, moral virtue was the only practical path to effective action.
If you want your business to sustain its success, you must behave in the right manner. This means you don’t go to extremes. You don’t “butter up” your clients nor do you take advantage of them. You offer a quality service for the right reasons.
Ethical success happens when you receive your personal power that lies within your being. You will attract financial abundance when you stay in touch with all that is naturally upright.
Strive to inherently know how to get what you need with virtue.
Challenge: Ethics is an expression of inner character. Am I doing the right things for the right reasons to sustain success? Or am I justifying my actions with shortcuts?
Timothy Rose, Author, 56 Notions of Success