Summary-Winners Never Cheat


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No matter what business you’re in, these principles apply to your work and your life.
None of them are new – honor, fairness, honesty and respect are as old as time – but this is a refresher course that reinforces what you already know about morality and ethics.
Author and successful business leader Jon M. Huntsman can cite himself as living proof
that you don’t need to compromise your core values to become a success – or even a
billionaire. If you’re a leader or aspire to be a leader in any fi eld, this quick read is well
worth your time. I recommend it to help you focus on values that the
modern world often tramples. The message is sweet, simple and clear: stick to your
beliefs staunchly, even if it costs you in the short term, because character, integrity and
long-term results are what really count.

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Summary-Winners Never Cheat

  1. 1. Some Impressionistic takes from the book Jon M.Huntsman’s “Winners Never Cheat” by Ramakrishnan ( Ramki)
  2. 2. About the Author Jon. M.Huntsman started with practically nothing, and built a world-class business that carried him to Forbes’ list of America’s wealthiest people. In this summary, Huntsman, Chairman & founder of Huntsman Corp., the world’s largest privately held chemical company, presents the principled lessons he has learned & followed throughout his lifetime. He also explains how business can return to the days when your word was your bond, a handshake was sacred, and swarms of lawyers weren’t needed to back it up . Huntsman built his career & fortune on ethical principles- from his refusal of the Nixon administration's corrupt demands, to his lifelong commitment to charity, to the way he approaches his biggest deals, In this summary he describes how readers can learn to listen to their moral compass, build teams, with the highest values, share success, take responsibility & earn the rewards that only come with giving back . This summary also explains that you don’t live these principles just to “ succeed’: you live them because they are right. In an age of many business scandals, Huntsman’s life proves honesty is more than right: It’s your biggest competitive advantage
  3. 3.  How the values you learned as a child still apply to the business world today.  Why you don’t have to compromise your values to succeed financially  What makes a real leader  Why it is important to give something back to society What you will Learn
  4. 4. Current Challenges in Market/Business Stock markets overdoses on greed In the past two decades investor greed has become obsessive & the CEO’s are forced to meet greed driven expectation Next quarter must be better than this quarter, with no thought to the business cycle. Outcome- based financial reporting becomes the norm when flat performances are penalized & honest reporting is of no value. Cooked books created artificial wealth Auditors looked the other way to avoid losing a client Corporate attorneys makes fortunes getting people out the promises they made Bottom line- Material success is now more valuable than the means one used to obtain the success.
  5. 5. Lessons from the Sandbox  Young children growing up, whether rich or poor, are taught to play by the rules.  Be tough, Be competitive, give the game all you have – But do it fairly  It is the value system that is learned in homes, sandboxes, playgrounds, classrooms, Sunday schools & athletic fields.  The values we learned as a child will make you successful in today’s business & market place  These values have not lost their legitimacy just because we are at work
  6. 6. It is not our affluence, or our plumbing or our clogged freeways that grip the imagination of others. Rather it is the value upon which our system is built By Sen. J. William Fulbright
  7. 7. Everyday Values of Business- Moral compass  There is no such thing as a moral agnostic  A amoral person is moral person who temporarily & creatively disconnects his or her actions from his or her values.  Each of us possesses a compass or conscience, programmed by parents, teachers, coaches, clergy, grandparents, uncles, aunts, scoutmasters, friends and peers  Before you act, always stop & check your moral compass  No one is raised in a moral vacuum.  Every mentally balanced human being basically recognizes right from wrong  Whether a person is brought up a Christian, Jew, Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu, Unitarian, New age, a free thinker or an atheist, he or she is taught from toddler on that he or she shouldn’t lie & there are consequences for doing so
  8. 8. Check your Moral compass  You know what is right or wrong  Be careful that we don’t ignore our inner compass  You can’t disconnect it, but you can ignore it  Rationalization dims caution lights  Arrogance blurs boundaries  Win at any cost ? It does matter how you play the game  Desperation overrides good sense  The ethical route is self-evident to a reasonable person  We are not always required by law to do what right & proper  Laws define courses we MUST legally adhere or avoid  Ethics are standards of conduct we ought to follow
  9. 9. Because just as good morals, if they are to be maintained, have need of the laws , if they are observed , have need of good morals By Machiavelli
  10. 10. Ethics Vs. Laws  We are not always required by law to do what is right & proper  Decency & generosity, for instance, carry no legal mandate.  Pure ethics are optional.  Laws define courses to which we must legally adhere or avoid.  Ethics are standards of conduct that we ought to follow.  The ingredients for long term success are  Courage, Vision, Follow-through , Risk, opportunity, Sweat, Sacrifice, skill, discipline, honesty – never vary  Scammers & cheaters have never lasted for long, and their fall is fast, painful & lasting .
  11. 11. Play by the Rules  The rules we follow & the rules we ignore determine personal character  Character is defined by your actions ( Integrity + Courage)  Reputation is defined by how others perceive your actions  Character is how you act when no one is watching  Once you compromise your values by lowering yourself to someone else’s standards, your reputation is damaged.  “Everyone else is doing it “ did not work as kid, as a teenager, and does not work as an adult.  Adopt a “ No excuses” personality for your mistakes.  It does not matter whether you win or lose, but how you played the game Matters More.
  12. 12. Bribes & Payoffs  Bribes have huge cost. They may produce temporary advantages , but they carry an enormous price tag.  They cheapen the way business is done, enrich only a few corrupt individuals, and make a mockery of the rules of play.  Competition is good  Competition is an integral part of the entrepreneurial spirit & the free market.  Cheating & lying are not.  If the immoral nature of cheating & lying doesn’t particularly bother you, think about this.  They eventually lead to failure.  Moral short-cuts always have a way of catching up with you
  13. 13. Standards are Important  Every family, home & school classroom has its standards.  Children observe their elders so they know how to act .  Employees watch supervisors.  Citizens eye civic & political leaders  If these leaders and role models set bad examples, those following them follow suit.  There is no moral short-cut in the game of business or life.  There are 3 kinds of people in business & life  The unsuccessful  The temporarily unsuccessful  Those who become & remain successful  The difference is character
  14. 14. Set a good example  Core Elements of Leadership: integrity, courage, vision, commitment, empathy, humility, and confidence.  One common value missing from most business leaders today is Humility  Contrary to today’s marketplace, the outcome is not the long-term measurement. The process is. Own it, take personal responsibility, avoid the blame game.  Over 80% of the workforce want to be led. However, they want to be led by people who genuinely care about them.
  15. 15. Set a good example  Leaders turn failures into new opportunities  Leadership demands decisiveness and in order to be decisive, you need the facts.  Many organizations are paralyzed by leaders who are afraid of bold, candid, and talented subordinates.  Surrounding yourself with “yes-men” forces you to be right 100% of the time.  Be open to criticism. (Remember, humility is the one trait that is missing in today’s leader  “Good judgment comes from experience and experience comes from poor judgment”  “If you think education is expensive, try ignorance.” In a Leadership role , set an example – Be a role model  Leadership requires taking risks. If you have never failed, then you have never risked much.  Leaders are called to do things that have never been done before, therefore risk of failing is part of the territory.
  16. 16. A honest man speaks the truth, though it may give offense By William Hazlitt “Let your “Yes” be “Yes” and your “No” be “No” “
  17. 17. Keep your word Keeping your word requires great resolve. You are the captain of your character & reputation- Your character & reputation must be grounded in honesty & integrity You will be remembered for promises kept & promises broken Always keep your word , no matter what the consequences are
  18. 18. Choose your friends wisely The Character of your friends /advisors will become part of your reputation If you can’t do something, surround yourself with some who can. Who you are associated with is one of the most important decisions you make in your career. If will stick with you long after you have separated yourself from those people Surround yourself with advisors who will say no when needed
  19. 19. Choose your friends wisely Cultivate relationships with those who are teachable When we are young, we unconsciously chose friends with similar values- why would we stop now that are adults Surround yourself with people who believe the team can achieve success. When a team member no longer believes in the team, you or them should leave Surround yourself with people who cannot only read a map, but have the courage & confidence to tell you that you are on the wrong road.
  20. 20. Get Mad, Not even (The Past is the Past)  Move on, put things behind you  Anybody lost money in the stock market, housing market etc.. The quickest route to recovery is move on.  Al Gore lost the Presidency, but won the Nobel Prize.  Richard Nixon held grudges, trusted no one, and paranoia cost him White House.  Self pity is a disease. It can incapacitate otherwise string, effective people.  Pay attention to that voice inside of you saying, “ life is short, move on “  Grudges are physically, emotionally & mentally draining ( just plain unhealthy) Forget about revenge, move onwards & upwards
  21. 21. Graciousness is next to Godliness (Be nice to others)  Be kind to others as a matter of habit  Every day our eulogies are being written  Remember there is no difference between family, friends & work when it comes to being kind  Thank you notes are treasured possessions.  Anyone know a “ successful” person who does not know the joy of being kind to others ? Graciousness is an excellent habit to cultivate & practice
  22. 22. Your Name is on the Door  Emphasize in employee meetings that families comes first.  Effective communication are essential  Companies – Private or Public – must create a culture in which employees come first & are treated royally. They always return the favor.  Business is much the same as families  The wise CEO of a publicly traded company will operate as if his or her last name is on the company marquee.  Workplace should be an extension of the family – a place for decency, respect & basic values are encouraged & examples of proper moral behavior are the rule.
  23. 23. The Obligation to give back  Along our way , we all receive help from others & have an opportunity to take advantage of some lucky breaks.  The only genuine way you can show appreciation for the help you’ve received along the way is by sharing your good fortune with others  Both Companies & Individuals are under obligation to put back into the community more than they take out.  Don’t wait until you are Billionaire.  Start giving something back right now, even it is just you time.  Nobody is a totally self-made man or woman.
  24. 24. Take –away -1/2  Most ethical dilemmas boil down to the color gray. We know right from wrong, but we try to cruise in the gray.  Truth- you leave the white, headed to the black, and are only in the gray for the short duration of the trip !  Now maintain your values in the business world as an adult, despite society's mixed messages  The same simple values- play fair, be tough, give it all you’ve got, don’t cheat, share, tell the truth & keep your word- still apply today & for the future.  First dial in your moral compass. Second listen to it.  We have moved from boxes of sand to buildings with desks, but how we are measured is still the same. Honor & fairness.  You don’t need to compromise your beliefs to make money. If you have skill or talent, work hard & stick to your values, you will succeed and will be happy.
  25. 25. Take –away -2/2  Regardless of background, nationality, religion or other differences, people of integrity universally recognize many values, such as honesty, fairness & respect.  Even when you feel desperate, try to rationalize, make excuses, blame others or put blinders on, your conscience tells you if you’re doing something wrong .  Attempts to justify bad behavior & morals cover up weakness, lack of courage & greed.  What is legal is not necessarily right. Society can’t mandate decency or virtue  “Everyone” does not compromise on values to get ahead  No one makes it alone, so you should give something back  Your values are like an American Express card- Don’t leave home without it.  A promise is a promise – Keep up
  26. 26. Although business itself may well be amoral, its leadership is dictated by moral decisions. It sometimes takes great courage to follow the moral compass in the face of marketplace pressures, but no challenge alters this fact: Regardless of who is holding the compass, or how they are holding it, or what time of day it happens to be, north is always north and south is always south. Following one’s moral compass is not for the faint of hear or the cold of feet. Leaders worthy of the name understand & accept that they are chosen every bit as much for their values & courage as for their administrative skills, marketing savvy or visionary outlook” by Jon Huntsman
  27. 27. Happy Reading, Learning & Application Mail your comments to