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What to Do When Personal Values Clash With Business Decisions

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What to Do When Personal Values Clash With Business Decisions

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Do you remember the times you were at a crossroads, debating with yourself about a choice that challenged your personal values and your business objectives? You’re not alone. Most entrepreneurs experience this kind of strife, but not every entrepreneur will verbalize all of the conflicts.

It is a sophisticated battleground with the lines between correct and wrong so fuzzy, and the choices you make can shape your history. In this article, I’ll share a few valuable tips you can use to navigate these situations.

Related: How to Become the Leader You Envision Without Sacrificing Your Values

1. Establish your core values

Determining your core values is a prerequisite in facing ethical obstacles. As a leader, values like integrity, transparency and sustainability can be your guiding principles, which you set not only for yourself but also for your company. When these values are clear and communicated correctly, they become a beacon, helping decision-making processes to be simpler and well-managed. The unambiguousness of those values serves as a yardstick to which all company actions are compared, and thus, everybody in the organization knows what is expected of them.

2. Understand the baggage right away

One of the most important skills for any leader is to be able to tell when his/her personal beliefs are at odds with business decisions. A lot of times, the first indication of an ethical challenge is a feeling of discomfort. This unease is not just a matter of emotion; it is a sign of your conscience, which is telling you that your values are being compromised. Acknowledging it early on is a must for you because it gives you the time to analyze the situation carefully, and you won’t make any rash decisions. It gives you an opportunity to form a strategy that is in line with your moral values.

3. Seek multiple perspectives

Ethical problems frequently do not yield simple responses, and what looks right one way around may not appear to be so from another point of view. Therefore, seeking several points of view is necessary. Connect with mentors, friends or any group with different perceptions to have more diverse opinions. Such a process can disclose new insights and may even bring in solutions that you would have never thought of. Another key advantage is that it makes sure the decision-making process is not only based on one set of experiences and backgrounds, which helps prevent the risk of bias.

4. Evaluate long-term impact

It may be tempting for a moment, but these shortcuts have long-term effects. When faced with a decision, it’s important to ask yourself about the long-term impacts: What is the consequence of this choice on my business in the next five, ten and twenty years? Would it hurt my reputation or my relationship with other people? Such aspects are crucial because they facilitate the drive toward sustainable growth and the observance of ethical standards, which are usually the pillars of longevity.

5. Create ethical safeguards

To avoid ethical conflicts and have your decisions a posteriori, that is, consistent with your business ethics, put in place robust ethical safeguards in your business operations. This could be a part of the process of creating an ethics committee or establishing a decision framework that focuses on your core values. This way, ethical principles are practically accessible to everyone through the organization’s hierarchy, and every decision is subjected to ethical scrutiny.

Related: Holding True to Your Values Is an Essential Decision-Making Metric

6. Be honest and open with your team

Transparency forms the basis for the establishment and strengthening of trust among team members. When an ethical crisis emerges, admitting the difficulties and how they might affect both personal and business values establishes a precedent of transparency and openness. Such honesty and openness will become a criterion for your enterprise culture. This is not just about trust building but also helping to develop a more engaged and ethically aware employee.

7. Integrate ethics into your brand

Nowadays, consumers are more and more inclined to buy from companies that have a code of ethics. Incorporating ethics into your brand’s storyline will make your business stand out and increase consumer confidence. This synergy builds a deeper connection with the audience because they believe that they are interacting with a brand that reflects their virtues.

8. Get ready to make tough decisions

Balancing personal ethics with business decisions sometimes demands making tough decisions. This might imply declining attractive chances or dissolving cooperation with efficient associates. These decisions are always hard, but they usually have to be done to preserve one’s integrity. The respect and loyalty gained from customers and employees in making these decisions can often far exceed the costs involved.

9. Consider and memorize every decision

Every decision is a learning experience. Analyzing the effectiveness of your choices — what worked, what didn’t and how you can improve — contributes to enhanced decision-making skills. Such a learning process is of utmost importance for more successful and confident dealings with future ethical issues.

10. Lead by example

Leadership is more about walking the talk than giving orders. Through constant decision-making that supports your ethical principles, you become an effective role model for your team. This leadership style not only cultivates an ethical positive climate but also inspires your team to uphold these standards in their own decision-making.

Related: Here’s Why Values Matter So Much in Business

It is not easy to navigate the dangerous waters where personal values and business decisions come together. Nonetheless, when you remain true to your core values, look for different opinions and consider making tough decisions, you can be assured that your business not only prospers but also contributes positively to the world around you.

Do not forget that the purpose of your business is not only to be successful but also to create a business that will speak for your values. This approach does not merely resolve clashes; it turns them into opportunities for growth. Rely on your ethics, and you will build a better business world with more ethical and prosperous firms.

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Barbara Corcoran Says All Good Leaders Have This 1 Quality

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Barbara Corcoran Says All Good Leaders Have This 1 Quality

Corcoran Group founder and “Shark Tank” star Barbara Corcoran knows how to run a tight ship — but she also knows when to relinquish control.

The 75-year-old real estate pioneer and entrepreneur took to Instagram on Wednesday to share advice on hiring and delegating.

Related: Barbara Corcoran: All ‘Really Successful Entrepreneurs’ Do This

First, she says, embrace your inner “control freak” — it’s part of the job.

“Anybody who’s a good boss, I’ve learned, is a control freak. It just comes with the territory, and control freaks have a heck of a hard time delegating,” Corcoran explained. “They’re the last people who want to give away what they do so perfectly.”

Corcoran says in order for your business to grow, though, it’s important to find someone who can do the job 80% as well as you can. If you find a candidate who can do that, invest in them to “build your business and move it ahead.”

Corcoran said she goes through a three-question litmus test before hiring someone to create a strong pool of employees.

Related: Barbara Corcoran Issues Statement, Warning on NAR Settlement

“I ask myself, ‘Are they happy? Do they work hard? Are they talented people in one regard or another?’ And if they are, I hire them, and I delegate something to them that’s above their pay grade, above their talent pool, so they have to reach and show me how good they are, and that’s how you develop talent,” she said.

“It’s not just a matter of delegating, it’s a matter of developing talent, and then delegating to the talent,” she added.

Corcoran’s net worth is an estimated $400 million.



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Beware of These Risky Sales Tactics That Are Doomed to Fail or Backfire

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Beware of These Risky Sales Tactics That Are Doomed to Fail or Backfire

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

True story: Recently, my daughter was at a major brand car dealership with her boyfriend, intending to purchase a pre-owned car. Note I made up the numbers for the sake of my daughter’s financial privacy, but the takeaways are still the same.

The dealership asked for, let’s say, $26,000 “all in” for the car, but my daughter had already decided that $20,000 was the most she would pay. There was a lot of ground to cover to actually make a deal happen. After some discussion, the salesperson did his best, dropping the price to $25,000. But that still left a big gap, so he told her, “Let me go check with my manager and see if he has any ideas.”

After five minutes, the salesperson and his manager entered the room together. The manager explained that at $25,000, this was a great price; it was already well below their MSRP, and the deal was “very thin” as it was for him. He then used the famous line, “Okay, here’s what I’m going to do to get you into this car today.” The manager pulled out a piece of paper with revised numbers that showed his price now at $23,995. He explained to my daughter that this was the absolute best possible price. He was “all in;” this was his “best offer,” and he told her to take it or leave it. For the grand finale — keeping in mind that this is a 100% true story — the manager took out a big red ink stamp and smacked it down on the paper. The stamp read “FINAL” in bold red ink. $23,995. FINAL.

My daughter responded, “Thanks, but I’m sorry; it looks like it’s not going to work out.” Without hesitation, he immediately blurted out, “How about $22,500?”

When my daughter told me the story, I had a wonderful laugh. After the big show, the manager held his price for a full six seconds. And the idea of the red final stamp just made the story even better. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized there’s actually quite a lot to unpack here regarding sales tactics, psychology and effectiveness.

Related: 3 Unconventional Sales Tactics That Will Close More Deals

I’m not in the car business, and I’ve never sold cars, but I can see some familiar sales tactics (and mistakes) playing out here:

Playing the waiting game

All this went down after my daughter had spent hours on the lot. It was getting late in the day on a Saturday, and the manager knew she was hoping to get it done. At some level, the manager was wearing her down and playing out the clock, playing the “waiting game.” It didn’t work in this case, but often, this notion of using time as a weapon can be very effective. Utilizing time as a strategic element in the negotiation process can be effective, but it must be used carefully and respectfully. Pushing too hard on time constraints can backfire.

Closing the deal by changing the sales lineup

When the salesperson reached his personal negotiation line or felt he would lose her, he brought in his manager. In addition to adding some time to the clock, this step created a new opportunity for a new dynamic. The dealership never really wants a potential buyer to walk out the door, so if one person doesn’t get the job done, it’s always worth trying someone else. Involving a manager or company administrator in the negotiation process can create new dynamics and opportunities for closing a deal.

Proposing your best and final offer

Although I laughed hysterically when I heard about the red stamp, I soon realized it was actually a smart move. Once upon a time, I’m guessing some sales and marketing people sat in a room, and someone said, “I have an idea — let’s make a red stamp that says final and use that during negotiations.” Everyone probably laughed, and they would have said, “No, I’m serious!” And then everyone thought about it and agreed, as funny of an idea as it was, it actually made sense. It’s one thing to tell someone something verbally, but when it’s “official” and in red ink on paper, it’s human nature to believe it and take it as indisputable. Using psychological sales tactics to create a Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO) effect, such as a “Final Offer” stamp, can be effective in conveying seriousness and finality, but you have to honor your word, or you will likely lose credibility.

All the tactics I outlined above were smart, but here’s where I think the dealership dropped the ball:

Trying a shutdown move too soon

The manager came in cold, and rather than take some time (again, time is on their side) to talk about the value, create some alignment, and build some rapport, he went straight for the kill. That tactic may work, but I felt it was too aggressive. He would have been better off discussing the pain points and goals concerning the product, coming up with some extra incentives, etc. Understanding the customer’s needs, discussing the product’s value and building rapport and trust can be crucial in successful sales.

Related: How to Master Your Sales Success — Why Every Answer and Rejection Matters

Putting an out-of-reach offer on the table

The manager decided to go for the close in a fairly aggressive way. In some cases, that tactic makes sense. But he played it all wrong with the numbers. He knew they were a full $5,000 or 20% off, and he decided to put it all on the line at $23,995. Obviously, given how fast he dropped another thousand, he had plenty more room. If he was going for the hard close and “FINAL” offer, he should have made it more compelling. By putting on the big show and then immediately dropping his price, he completely lost credibility and lowered the odds of closing. In this case, he lost my daughter’s trust and the sale. In negotiation, it’s important to understand the other party’s budget and limits before making an offer. Being aware of their constraints will increase the likelihood of closing a deal.

Saying your offer is “final” when it’s not

If you offer something of value at a good price and tell them it’s “final” (which I personally don’t recommend as a sales tactic), then stand by it and mean it. Your word has to mean something. Once he realized his “final” price was not going to work, rather than lower it, he could have thrown in some additional valuable incentive, perhaps some amount of free service or some kind of special financing. If a “final offer” is presented, standing by it as your final word is essential. If adjustments are needed, they should include additional incentives or value to maintain trust and credibility.

Sales is an art, no doubt about that. A great salesperson builds a relationship, asks questions and listens, understands the client’s pain points, is honest and transparent, and operates with integrity. Of course, strategies, techniques, incentives, and a lot of human emotion and psychology are at play, but all of them can happen successfully without losing your credibility.

So, the overall moral of my story? Choose wisely before using the big red stamp!

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Why Morgan Stanley Analysts Doubled Apple iPhone Predictions

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Why Morgan Stanley Analysts Doubled Apple iPhone Predictions

Apple entered the AI game last month with Apple Intelligence, a suite of new features designed to bring AI straight to iPhone, iPad, and Mac screens. Apple’s AI has a catch though: it only works on the newest iPhones and it could be the reason why millions of iPhone users with older models seriously think about upgrading, say Morgan Stanley analysts.

Morgan Stanley analysts named Apple a top-pick stock on Monday, after which Apple shares jumped to an all-time high, per Bloomberg. Apple Intelligence is a “clear catalyst” for iPhone upgrades and will enable Apple to sell nearly half a billion iPhones in the next two years, analyst Eric Woodring stated.

Apple Intelligence is expected to come out this fall for the iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max — older iPhones will not have access to Apple’s AI. The update offers AI-generated emojis, a smarter Siri, and direct access to ChatGPT, though some anticipated Siri AI upgrades may arrive next year.

Related: Apple Is Expanding What The iPhone Can Do. Here’s What’s Changing Right Away.

“We believe that there is record level of pent-up demand entering the iPhone 16 cycle later this year,” Woodring noted, adding that Apple Intelligence delivers “unique-to-the-Apple-ecosystem” value.

Morgan Stanley previously forecasted that Apple would sell around 230 million iPhones in the same time frame, making the new prediction more than double the previous one.

Apple is also uniquely positioned to be the AI “base camp” for its customers, “just as it has done for digital content (iPod) and social media (iPhone),” wrote Morgan Stanley analyst Ananda Baruah.

Apple CEO Tim Cook waves to customers before they enter Apple’s 5th Avenue store. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Other analysts at different firms have made similar predictions. Wedbush Securities analyst Dan Ives told Reuters in June that more than 15% of existing iPhone users could buy the new iPhone Apple is expected to release this fall.

Related: Apple Labels These 3 Iconic Products ‘Vintage,’ and Soon-to-Be ‘Obsolete’

Ives estimated that 270 million iPhone users have not bought a new model in the past four years.

More than half of Apple’s overall revenue in the second quarter of 2024 came from iPhones; Apple has the majority of the market share for smartphones in the U.S.

At the time of writing, Apple was the largest company in the world with a $3.584 trillion market cap. Microsoft, Nvidia, Google, and Amazon followed.

Related: Warren Buffett Had to Work From His iPhone After Telephone Lines Went Down at Berkshire Hathaway: ‘I’m Glad We Didn’t Sell All of Our Apple’

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