“Selling Ethically” by Joel Malkoff
The cover of this book was particularly appealing. And I must admit, on the cover, you’re warned that it is a Business Parable connecting integrity and profit. The overflowing waterfalls spewing abundance, lush greenery, and lavish appeal on the design of the cover were definitely a selling point that brought me into the book.
I sought the value of integrity, ethical selling standards, principled business values, and the greatness that should come from a business parable.
The author gave credit and appreciation to God and all His Goodness right up front, which was particularly appealing for a Business Parable. The implication being Biblical proportion and likeness was unsatisfying, however. I didn’t find the promise inside the book that was made on the cover.
Each chapter began with a nod to a favored quote with some historic relevance, if not business related. Most also implied ethical value, or integrity. These quotes offered intrinsic value to the book, beyond the storytelling in the chapters.
Early in the story, I was captivated by the concept of Noah being a scribe, some sort of heavenly/ethereal experience. I must confess, when the indication was that he was not in heaven, I flipped to the later pages to find out where the story might end.
The dynamics of the story included 40 years of business, a parable to Noah’s 40 days and 40 nights, and the consistent 40’s of the Bible. There were other significant connections to Biblical stories throughout the book, and when I went back to read more of the story, I found the thread of operating a profitable business to be prolific and well defined.
The consistent relevance of ethical behavior, the use of personal integrity and principled marketing strategies, all mentioned in the book were revealing. These concepts offered a lingering expectation to repent and ask forgiveness for the wrongs done in sales behavior by the main character. I felt as if he must have been a horrible person, through the lack of integrity in his work.
At the end of the day the experiential portion of the story lacked power.
The last quote, from John F. Kennedy on chapter 11, reminded me that in the 2nd chapter the concept of spirit of the law had been tossed out there. The letter of the Law vs the spirit of the Law?
This suddenly provided a stumbling block to me, because following the letter of the law is an ethical value that men of integrity do, because that’s who they are. But moving to the spirit of the law and allowing the ethical edits to be parlayed into remnants and pieces of what should be? Not only is the spirit of the law a different force, it lacks persuasion to business success and profits. I would hope the author’s intent is the coherent legal standard of ethically standing for the letter of the law.
I recommend this book, because it’s got an interesting story, relevant and detailed toward the well-argued concept of maintaining personal integrity.
Written by John Davis, posted by Garth Thomas