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Leading By Example: Why You Must Chart Your Own Course As An Entrepreneur In a landscape where ruthless tactics often yield quick wins, it's fair to wonder whether adhering to a code of ethics makes "business" sense.

By Aby Sam Thomas

You're reading Entrepreneur Middle East, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.


"What goes around, comes around." That's what we often sigh to ourselves when we witness instances of bad behavior that goes unchecked, or, worse, rewarded, or even celebrated. But in an era where the concept of karma often feels elusive, it can get hard for one to even want to hold on to one's integrity. Indeed, it can often feel like most of the world does not seem to give a damn about values, and, yet they seem to be doing pretty well for themselves all the same.

Such frustrations are especially true for those in the field of entrepreneurship, where prioritizing profit and publicity over principles seems to have become the norm, and shortcuts to success -no matter how questionable- are accepted without a moment's thought. It's even become commonplace to say one thing, and do another- like business leaders who say that they treat their employees as if they were members of their own family, but then, one finds such assertions would ring true only if you were part of a highly dysfunctional household. In such a landscape, where ruthless tactics often yield quick wins, it's fair for one to wonder whether adhering to a code of ethics even makes "business" sense.

Indeed, all of us have horror stories to share about the worst kind of human behaviors that we've seen in the realm of work, and many of the subjects of these tales are known to continue unabated with their misdeeds, either blissfully unaware or willfully ignorant about the choices they make. All of this can be incredibly grating to watch as an onlooker wanting to stay on the right side of things- so, how does one deal with it all?

The solution -at least according to me- is to stop looking outward for validation, and to gaze inward instead. Forget about everyone else- what do you stand for? Do you wish to follow the herd, or would you like to chart your own course, one that's more in line with your own moral code? What brings you true fulfillment? After all, in the end, it's all about the legacy we choose to leave behind- and, sometimes, you just have to lead by example.

Related: Haters Gonna Hate. (But Not Everyone Is A Hater Either)

Aby Sam Thomas

Entrepreneur Staff

Editor in Chief, Entrepreneur Middle East

Aby Sam Thomas is the Editor in Chief of Entrepreneur Middle East. In this role, Aby is responsible for leading the publication on its editorial front, while also working to build the brand and grow its presence across the MENA region through the development and execution of events and other programming, as well as through representation in conferences, media, etc.

Aby has been working in journalism since 2011, prior to which he was an analyst programmer with Accenture, where he worked with J. P. Morgan Chase's investment banking arm at offices in Mumbai, London, and New York. He holds a Master's Degree in Journalism from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in New York.  

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