Good and Evil in Business

Something they don’t tell you about in business school is there is a war going on in the world today between good and evil. If you don’t think so, you are being naïve. I am going to explain how this impacts your life in a practical way in the business world. WATCH NOW





What do I mean when I say good and evil? You cannot divide people up into good people and evil people. Because everyone is a combination of good and evil. When we make decisions in life, we all have those angels and devils on our shoulders that whisper in our ears and say, “You should do the good thing.” Or “You should do the bad thing.” This is an internal struggle that everyone has. Society is just a reflection of the inner struggle that we all experience. When you look across society, you can see that some people doing good things and some people doing evil things.

Statistics tell us that most things fall into the bell curve of a normal distribution. I think this is true with good and evil as well. Now you can’t prove this statistically, but I think this is a good explanation of what we see in real life. For example, on one end of the spectrum you have really good people, like Mother Theresa. There are people who have dedicated their lives to loving and uplifting others. Then on the other side of the spectrum you have serial killers and people who commit mass shootings. There are some things you can look at in life and say, “These things are evil.” Serial killers are one of those things. Why do people do that? It is just evil. And we hope that our police force is doing their job to keep these people under control.

There is not a lot of people on these two extremes. Most people are somewhere in the middle. This is ordinary people who struggle with whether to make good or bad choices in life. But notice this is a bell curve. So, 50% of people you meet in business are more than likely going to make the evil choice. You must be aware of this. There is a lot of crooks in business. There are people who will want to take advantage of you. They will scam you. They will lie to you.  You really need to understand this. There is good and evil going on in the business world. Because if you go into a business negotiation thinking that everyone is going to “Do the right thing” you are being naïve. That is not an accurate picture of reality. It is better to be aware of this dynamic so that you are prepared to deal with evil when you see it.

Let’s take lying for example. I have said on this channel many times to always tell the truth. Most people agree with me that it is wrong to be dishonest. Let me ask you right now. Do you think lying is wrong? I am betting you say yes. So why, if we all know that it is wrong, do so many people lie? They do it because they think they can get a short-term benefit from it. The problem is that once you start lying, you must keep lying to cover it up. Once you start moving into the evil 50% of the bell curve, it is easy to keep moving further towards evil. When you are working in business and you lie to your investors about the money, that is fraud. So, a normal person could start out by lying and then they keep moving farther into the evil side of the spectrum, and then one day they become a criminal. That is why I tell people to always tell the truth. You want to be on the good side of the bell curve, not the evil side.

The reason why this is so important, is that the lesson we learn from business history, is that good always conquers evil. I know that pessimistic people will roll their eyes at me when I say this. It is so easy to look at the world today and see crooked politicians and the rise of tyranny and lose hope. But you don’t have to get discouraged. Because in the end, good always conquers evil. It might not happen right away. Sometimes it takes a really long time. But the story of human history over the last 2,000 years is a slow progression towards more freedom and a pursuit of the truth. Economics is what drives this. Because being good is good for business. If you take two groups of people, one who is honest and hardworking, and the other who are lying thieves, the good group is going to become more successful than the evil group. This is the story that has played out over history. Good conquers evil. Sometimes it takes a long time, but it does eventually happen.

Now you might be saying, “Zach, this is all too abstract.” How does 2,000 years of human history impact my life today?” Here is why you need to know this. At some point in your career, your boss will come to you and ask you to do something shady. You have a decision to make. You will have a devil and an angel on your shoulders, and you will have to decide. Are you going to do what your boss says, and lie, cheat, or steal? Or will you choose to stand up for what is right? If you choose good you will have immediate consequences. Bosses do not like it when their employees say no to them. You will have to do the right thing and say no, even though it will cost you. It might even cost you everything. But you must realize, you are picking a side in the battle of good and evil. And if you pick evil, you will eventually lose. Whatever you are doing, the truth will come out, and everyone is going to know that you sided with evil.

We go watch movies about superheroes and Marvel characters. These stories are all about the battle of good over evil. Why do you think we tell ourselves these stories? Because it is the reflection of what is going on in our real lives. We are in a battle of good over evil. It is hard. It is difficult. It takes a long time. But in the end, the good guys win.

So, when you are working in a business, remember that accounting is about truth. Financial statements are there to share with stakeholders what is going on with the business. It is your job to stand up for good over evil. You are going to have to decide. Which side are you on?

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Neither Zach De Gregorio or Wolves and Finance shall be liable for any damages related to information in this video. It is recommended you contact a CPA in your area for business advice.