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25 February, 2019 03:16:46 PM


The role of ethics to strive for individual excellence

Our young generation certainly needs role model to move ahead with the standards and designed approach to strive for and achieve the results
Masihul Huq Chowdhury
The role of ethics to strive for 
individual excellence

The Microsoft founder Bill Gates and actor-turned-humanitarian Angelina Jolie are the world’s most admired people, according to a YouGov study. The 2018 list features 20 men and 20 women, all of whom are chosen as a result of online interviews with more than 37,000 people in 35 countries.

Following on from Angelina Jolie in the female list is Michelle Obama, with eight per cent share of admiration, followed by Oprah Winfrey and Queen Elizabeth II.“I think many organisations realise that there is profit in sustainability. And that to any organisation, apart from social consciousness, is the biggest motivator towards sustainability. Those profit equation should be clearly spelt out for people to really appreciate how much extra profits they can generate from lower carbon emission, for a better water usage for better disposal of waste, etc,” said Azim Premji. Azim Hashim Premji is an Indian business tycoon, investor, and philanthropist, who is the chairman of Wipro Limited. He is informally known as the Czar of the Indian IT Industry. He was responsible for guiding Wipro through four decades of diversification and growth to finally emerge as one of the global leaders in the software industry. Premji owns 73 per cent of Wipro and also owns a private equity fund, Premji Invest, which manages his $2 billion worth of personal portfolio. He is currently the second richest person in India with an estimated net worth of US$15.6 billion as of October 2018. In 2013, he agreed to give away at least half of his wealth by signing The Giving Pledge. Premji started with a US$2.2 billion donation to the Azim Premji Foundation, focused on education in India. One of the many reasons – perhaps the most significant – that Azim Premji will be remembered is for his philanthropy. He has already given away 25 per cent of his wealth as part of the Giving Pledge, the first Indian and only third non-American initiative to do so. This includes 8.7 per cent of his Wipro stock, which has been placed in a separate trust and will be used for educational purposes. The Azim Premji Foundation was set up as a non-profit organisation in 2001 with an aim of improving primary education in India. It has also set up a university in Bengaluru, India, and works with schools and governments in various districts of India to improve education in a holistic way, rather than just through financing. Something else that is noteworthy about Azim Premji is that he has managed to build an organisation that has a reputation for being an ethical company committed to certain core values, and he has taken a keen interest in creating high-performance teams. The subject of practice of ethical principles towards successful career be it in professional or business life plays the pivotal role for success. Ethics in fact also influences the personal and family life as well. In fact, workplace ethics play a vital role in both career development and professional growth. They build a positive reputation for companies, which is integral to business success. Employers seek candidates with integrity to ensure increased productivity which means ethical workers are rewarded with advancement opportunities. Let us discuss about the four principles which set the standard of ethics be it in the organisation, individual both in work or personal life. 1. The Principle of Respect for autonomy:  Autonomy is Latin for "self-rule" . We have an obligation to respect the autonomy of other persons, which is to respect the decisions made by other people concerning their own lives. This is also called the principle of human dignity. It gives us a negative duty not to interfere with the decisions of competent adults, and a positive duty to empower others for whom we’re responsible. Every individual is a unique being and the behaviour pattern is distinct from the other individuals. The common work place culture is an assimilation of the collective behavioural approach. The environment which gives the more autonomy and respect to individual choice provides the openness. The solution to any problem comes with more pragmatic solution adoptable to the work culture. 2. The Principle of Beneficence: We have an obligation to bring about good in all our actions. We must take positive steps to prevent harm. However, adopting this corollary principle frequently places us in direct conflict with respecting the autonomy of other persons. As the saying goes, see no evil, speak no evil, do no evil to the other individual. Yes, the work place is ever competitive and this helps bring out the best of any individual. But when we focus on the betterment of the colleague will give rise to the culture of an inclusive environment. The team spirit results to the development of meritocracy around that organisation which provides the best out of all the individuals resulting to a cohesive and cordial environment. 3. The Principle of nonmaleficence: We have an obligation not to harm others: "First, do no harm."  Where harm cannot be avoided, we are obligated to minimise the harm we do. Don't increase the risk of harm to others. We arguably use a misnomer about corporate culture where the idea is to use various tools to ride on the corporate ladder. “Success by any means” in fact forces the individual to adopt measures including harming the fellow colleagues to achieve something. Doing harm creates an environment of hostility. This also imposes stressed relationships. The team spirit gets defeated and hence productivity goes southward. 4. The Principle of justice: We have an obligation to provide others with whatever they are owed or deserve. In public life, we have an obligation to treat all people equally, fairly, and impartially.

In the work, a worker based the activities upon: 1.Goal-oriented actions: it is not about making plans or the next logical steps; it's about getting things done so that the work invested wouldn't be counter-productive. 2. Prioritised focus: focusing on qualitative activities that a person is capable of and in areas where they can make a difference or a high impact based on objectives. Being available and reliable: Spending time on the work and building oneself up for the task. 3. Conscientiousness: a desire to do a task well, being vigilant and organised. 4. Creating a rewarding routine/system: Engaging in tasks that provide strength and energy which can be transferred to your ultimate goals, creating a habit and a habitat for success.

Embracing positivism: Shape a problem with the statement "good, (action) (problem)", e.g. "I'm tired and it is time for a workout" leads to "Good. Workout tired". A negative work ethic is a behaviour of a single individual or a group that has led to a systematic lack of productivity, reliability, accountability and a growing sphere of unprofessional/unhealthy relationships. The inadequate supply of qualified and skilled talent is a huge threat to a company’s ability to produce and meet revenue targets. Following increased competitive pressures, this is the most important issue businesses are faced with today. When you find employees who meet the needed qualifications, experience and work ethic, it is critical to retain these employees. Treating them well will improve retention and produce outstanding results. Employees can be trained on products and services, but traits like integrity, resilience, good personality, confidence and good work ethic are more inherent in the individual. There is good reason to surmise a person is born with it, similar to a natural sense of humour or outgoing personality.

Many people learn from each other — their friends and peers. However, it doesn’t have to be learned at all. You can often spot it from an early age. I have a young colleague at my work place who just started his career and who loves to work. He’s always been that way, whether he is being acknowledged or not for his work. He actually enjoys it. He gets in helping other colleagues both in work or outside work, gets in to arranging office picnics or outings, arrange cricket matches. He resembles vibrancy and energy around which is quite inspirational to others. He doesn’t have to be convinced to do it or even incentivised with money. He was born ingrained with a work ethic, and it has been reinforced by his parents and grandparents. Time will tell in the long haul, but I firmly believe he will exhibit this very good work ethic when he becomes an adult and throughout the rest of his life. The multi tasking with positive mind set with no return on the way.

Bangladesh has created quite an example be it in achieving the SDG milestone, a very healthy average of growth rate, bringing in gender equality.  The country has set the launch pad for impeccable growth rate in coming days. We will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of our independence. The sacrifice of the selfless freedom fighters at the call of our beloved Father of the Nation is quite an example to state. The standards set forth should be in the school syllabus. Our young generation certainly needs role model to move ahead with the standards and designed approach to strive for and achieve the results.

The writer, a banker by profession, has worked both in local and overseas market with various foreign and local banks in different positions



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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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