Code of Conduct… for Baseball Players

1.   I will always play the game to the best of my ability.

2.   I will always play to win, but if I lose, I will not look for an excuse to detract from my opponent’s victory.

3. I will never take an unfair advantage in order to win.

4. I will always abide by the rules of the game—on the diamond as well as in my daily life.

5.   I will always conduct myself as a true sportsman—on and off the playing field.

6. I will always strive for the good of the entire team rather than for my own glory.

7.   I will never gloat in victory or pity myself in defeat.

8. I will do my utmost to keep myself clean—physically, mentally, and morally.

9.   I will always judge a teammate or an opponent as an individual and never on the basis of race or religion.

Connie Mack 1916

How does your company’s Code of Conduct compare to this?

Back in 1916, baseball players where not yet superstars who could write their own ticket.  Do your superstars (rather than management) set the conduct norms at your company?

Businesses all need a real code of conduct that is held by management to be just as important as the bottom line.  This code of conduct needs to become embedded in the corporate culture, if it isn’t already.

This is needed because the business that is run entirely on the principle of “shareholder value” will be inherently amoral.  Guided by the belief that if they do not do it, someone else will.  And this approach is excused because “the invisible hand” makes sure that when everyone operates in this manner, that the collective outcome will be the best.

But that invisible hand idea was written by the person who also authored “The Theory of Moral Sentiments”, a book that opened with the sentence:

How selfish soever man may be supposed, there are evidently some principles in his nature, which interest him in the fortunes of others, and render their happiness necessary to him, though he derives nothing from it, except the pleasure of seeing it.  A Smith 1759

 

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