I was consulting for a business owner who was reselling some of his customer information as a sort of list broker. We had an alarming conversation that went something like this:
Me: Mary Peres just placed an order for 50,000 records from 2018. Unfortunately, you don’t have enough to fill the order.
Him: Just take records from 2016 and change the date to say 2018.
Me: I can’t do that. He wants data from 2018. That would be unethical.
Him: It’s not unethical because it’s my data. I own it, so I can do whatever I want with it.
Needless to say, I no longer consult for him.
If you DON’T see the problem here, ask yourself these questions:
- Would you tell your customer you were changing the date?
- Would you tell your mother what you’re doing?
- Would St. Peter let you through the Pearly Gates?
Ethics > Profit = a key formula for long-term, sustained growth and success.