Friday 7 December 2007

Thy shall not steal

The 10 commandments are a value system. I have often used them as an annexure to a simple contract when doing a business deal. These are the fundamentals.

But, in this fasting movie material world we live in, the rules are characteristically interpreted in the physical sense. Take the most important rule, or law, of business: thy shall not steal. Now, if someone stole your money they would get into trouble. If someone stole your product you would call the police. But, physical things are not the only thing you can steal!

There are so many other more important things one can steal without going to jail. You can steal someone's sleep if you selfishly wake them up in the middle of the night. And you can rob someone of their confidence, their dignity and their self-respect. Wouldn't you rather have your car stolen than have your integrity compromised.

Yes, we live externally, and the result is that we have laws that protect what we can see and touch. But it is those inner possessions that we need to respect the most. As a leader I have made many mistakes. New ones all the time, but less of the old ones. I once raised my voice at someone in front of other people, and by doing so I humiliated that person and robbed them of their confidence.

That was over 10 years ago and I have not made the same mistake again. My current battles, or should I say, our current battles, the Vottlers and I, are with technology. IT got the better of us these past few days but I think we remained largely cool and we are now on top of our game again.

So, let me not steal any more of your time if you happen to be reading this. I think you get the point this fine summer's day.

Posted by Ronnie Apteker