vPsychology for Business


We are dedicated to bringing out the best in you and your employees

Volume 5, Number 2                                                            January 16, 2004


Psychology for Business is an e-mail newsletter written by  Dr. John Weaver, Dr. Lynda Dahlke, and Dr. Paul Glass, business psychologists and independent consultants, provided to you at no charge. It is published bi-weekly. You’ve received this newsletter because you’ve subscribed to it or it was forwarded to you by a friend or colleague. To subscribe sign up at our website, http://www.psychologyforbusiness.com/. If you wish to cancel your subscription, please see the end of this e-mail for easy instructions

Privacy Statement: We will not distribute the address of any subscriber to anyone.

We invite you to forward this newsletter, in its entirety, to your colleagues.


by Dr. John Weaver, Business Psychologist and Executive Coach

As I mentioned in my previous newsletter, I tried, many times, to get my father to write down the insights he had about supervising people while he was still alive. He never did it (he was too busy or too modest), so I am going to attempt to do it for him. The stories I will tell will be true as I remember them. They do not need to be embellished because the lessons that can be learned are powerfully present in the stories themselves.

I wanted to write something about ethics in the business setting because it was such an important part of what my father taught me. When I was a young man, I remember my father telling me “Don’t just do things right, do the right thing.”  This was not just a statement he made, it was also a hallmark of the way he conducted his professional life. He saw his responsibility as transcending getting the job done. That was only a baseline. But the responsibility was not discharged until he considered the right things. 

Sometimes this meant that he did a lot more than was expected of him. 

He was approached by his immediate boss at budget preparation time. As was the practice in many large organizations, budgets often became a wish list rather than a careful determination of need for the next year. His boss encouraged him to “pad” the budget a little. As a reward, my father would be able to find some extra money to buy equipment that would be useful but not really needed. His boss would also be able to dip into the excess for items that he wanted. Everyone does it, his boss told him. 

It was a suggestion my father refused. Instead, he carefully researched the costs of materials for his division, planned for the potential emergencies and built in costs for inflation. Year after year his budgets were meticulously prepared and highly accurate. It was the right thing to do. If the company is to be able to be most effective in providing quality service at a reasonable cost, then each member of the organization had a responsibility to the company and to the customers to be good stewards of their resources. Carefully researched budgets took more time to compile.  

I searched for a way to honestly write that this ethical decision turned out to be financially rewarding. In truth, my father was never directly rewarded (and may even have irritated his boss) for being careful. He did not receive any awards for his extra work, nor did it result in a promotion. He received the highest ratings and raises in his company year after year for the work he did but his decision to work extra hard on the budget was not listed as the primary reasons for these ratings. The only real benefit was the integrity that he gained by doing the right thing. 

He made ethical choices because that was the kind of man he was, not because he would gain some reward for doing so. In an indirect way, I think it influenced the way he carried out many of the details of his job and resulted in his recognition for the quality work he produced. That is generally true of those who make choices consistent with their values.

If you make the choice to do the right thing, it is not likely to improve your financial bottom line. It will cost money as often as it will result in economic gain.  

If you make the choice to do the right thing, you will end up doing more than what is required and more than others who are just as successful in their professional lives. It will often seem unfair that doing the right thing is not rewarded.

If you make the choice to do the right thing, it will sometimes result in more trouble than benefit. When it threatens to expose others who are not ethical, there is a high probability that those who may be exposed will attempt to cause trouble to protect themselves.

But if you make the choice to do the right thing, your customers or clients or even your co-workers will benefit. The success of human society is built on individuals who choose to do the right thing for others. Some psychologists have put forth the idea that we only act in our own self-interest. There is ample evidence in human history that this theory is inadequate. Human beings do make choices for the sake of the larger community, often at great personal sacrifice.

As I get older, I find that some of the intangibles like integrity are really very valuable qualities. I am grateful for the lesson I learned when I was younger. There have been many times that I was tempted to take an easier path or make a decision for a profitable gain that would have left me less of a person, but I always had the example of a man who talked about, and backed up with his actions, the belief that it is not enough just to do things right but it is our responsibility to do the right thing.

Did you know that executive coaching is not geographically limited?  Coaching by telephone is effective.  It is also an efficient use of time and resources.  You never need to leave your office to travel, nor do you need to pay travel expenses for your coach. We offer coaching either onsite or by telephone. To find out if coaching is right for you, contact us to schedule a 1/2 hour consultation at no charge.  Or request a price sheet to determine the best value for your organization.  Call us at: (262) 789-2728 or email us at mailto:jweaver@psychologyforbusiness.com.

About the Author

John Weaver, Psy.D. is a licensed psychologist with 22 years’ professional experience working with organizations, groups, and individuals. He has experience leading groups and creating teamwork in organizations. His areas of expertise include executive coaching, conflict resolution, coaching teams and individuals to improve performance under stress, assessing employees and potential employees to ensure the right person for the right job, and training in stress management and "The Vitamin C’s for an Emotionally Healthy Workplace."  He is an experienced professional speaker and published author.

Based in Waukesha, WI, Dr. John Weaver is available for consultation or executive coaching by phone, e-mail or in person. He may be reached at (262) 789-2728 (office) or (414) 491-8719 (cell), by e-mail: mailto:jweaver@psychologyforbusiness.com or: 

John Weaver, Psy.D. 
Psychology for Business
2717 North Grandview Boulevard, Suite 303
Waukesha, Wisconsin, 53188

10 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Coach is now available for download by visiting http://www.psychologyforbusiness.com/questions.htm.

Also receive your copy of 9 Ways to Motivate Your Workforce by visiting http://www.psychologyforbusiness.com/motivate.htm

If you are interested in having Dr. Weaver speak for your organization, contact him at mailto:jweaver@psychologyforbusiness.com?subject=SPEAK .

To order your copy of the book, MANAGING DIFFICULT PERSONALITIES IN THE WORKPLACE: A Manager’s Practical Guide, by Dr. Paul Kenneth Glass, send your name, address, number of copies desired and a check made out to Dr. Paul Kenneth Glass for $12 per book (plus $2 shipping per book).  Or order 10 or more copies for $10 per book and $6.95 for shipping (up to 50 copies).  No fluff, this book gets right to the point. Send orders to:

Dr. Paul Kenneth Glass
Psychology for Business
2717 N. Grandview Blvd. #303
Waukesha, WI 53188   

Email: mailto:pglass@psychologyforbusiness.com

To order the booklet: 41 WAYS TO IMPROVE THE EMOTIONAL HEALTH OF YOUR WORKPLACE, by Dr. John Weaver send a check for $6 and a self-addressed, double stamped business size envelope to:

Dr. John Weaver
Psychology for Business
2717 N. Grandview Blvd. #303
Waukesha, WI 53188

To subscribe visit us at our website: http://www.psychologyforbusiness.com/.  If you would like to learn more about Dr. John Weaver (mailto:jweaver@psychologyforbusiness.com), Dr. Lynda Dahlke (mailto:ldahlke@psychologyforbusiness.com), and Dr. Paul Glass (mailto:pglass@psychologyforbusiness.com) please visit us at our website.

© Copyright 2004. All rights reserved. John Weaver. Distribution rights: The above material is copyrighted, but you may retransmit or distribute it to whomever you wish as long as not a single word is changed, added or deleted, including the contact information. If you would like to reprint part of this newsletter please contact me at mailto:jweaver@psychologyforbusiness.com to make arrangements.

Sharing this newsletter with colleagues and friends, under these conditions, is encouraged.

If you have a question or topic you would like to see covered, send your request to mailto:jweaver@psychologyforbusiness.com.