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On Saturday I read a twitt of Paulo Coelho – renowned author – “A warrior of the light knows that the ends do not justify the means. Because there are no ends, there are only means”. I inferred from the statement that – means are values on which we base and live our life. Some time back I had written on integrity as one value for organization and individuals. Another article I glanced through in Outlook India – “How Not To Court The Law” by Uttam Sengupta. At the end of the article Mr Ranjan Mondal commented – “…where is our Ethics in law?”

Recently, I happened to meet and discuss the same with Mr Abhaynath Mishra. He is a trainer, consultant and is extensively working on value system of individuals and organizations.  He said, sustainability of an organization is based on values and ethics it follows. In short run there may be loss but the long run success of an organization is assured by the belief and sticking to the values. Also, I had a few telecon with my MBA Professor Ms Mala Kapadia – we too discussed on Values and Business. Mala Ma’am suggested “…somewhere I feel interpretation of Bhagwat Gita too has been wrong, in saying that war for Dharma is justified.”

I asked this question to myself – do ends justify means? and What are the values business follow, do the businesses really follow these, values? I stopped at a very good question – where is ethics? We seldom talk about it in debates, in our closed rooms and perhaps in boardrooms. Ethics are there in closed door – safe, not touched by anyone! In practice – well, we practice everything except ethics because for a long time we have imbibed lessons such as “ends justify the means.” Now is the time when we – as a community – are questioning the means used to achieve goals, ethics in business and values of individuals. The reason to ask such questions is the problems we face today – recession, political unrest and other personal problems. The biggest identified cause for these problems is  ‘greed’. The problems can be resolved when we learn what Paulo Coelho twitted recently – ends do not justify the means. Because there are no ends, there are only means. Be ethical …because there are only means!