Work Ethics, Morality, Work Philosophy

Patience! There are no short cuts through the forest of life.
There are no short cuts to success.
We have to sow before we can reap.
America is a Land of Opportunity. Opportunity to Serve.
Every morning millions of human beings wake up with the desire - "let us make money". Well! That is very easy. Let us dare to make Character. Let us put our focus on how we can excel, how we can serve, - money will follow as shadow sure. Let us dare to "earn our bread by the sweat of our brow", and not by trampling over others, betraying trust, taking short cuts, etc.
Remember what all wise men have said since time immemorial: "In life always at all times we will have two paths, two choices. The Right Path and the Wrong Path. If we take the wrong path, we may have momentary success, but in the long term, we will have failure and pain. If we take the right path, then in the short term we may have challenges, but in the long term we will have success and more important - happiness. True, lasting happiness and success is built on a moral foundation."
In what ways are the transactions between an employee and employer different from those between a grocery store owner and a customer?
Ever since the dawn of civilization, the laws of all human transactions, the laws of trade, commerce, business, - have been exactly the same, as we follow, when we enter a grocery store. Nothing comes for free, "we give, we take". We render services and we receive payment for services rendered, in cash and/or in kind.
Every corporation hires an employee to add value to the company. Can we to ask ourselves: "How have I added value in the past one hour?" Every day, every hour, a sincere employee would ask: "I have been paid by my employer $$$, what I have done to earn this money?"  Employees who add value, help the company grow. Such employees grow with the company and they always continue to remain employed.
If you were a corporation and you were to hire an employee, why would you hire an employee? What for? For what reason will you pay the employee a salary?  Where does the money for salary comes from? Why will you invest in training him? How would you pay for his training ? If after a week or a month of training he (she) walks out - how will you feel about it?

Havenít each of us been employers at one time or other. How many of us have employed lets say a maid or a nanny or a baby sitter, etc. If your child grows up, what do you do?  If your maid or nanny does poor work - will you still retain that person? If your maid or nanny does not know her job, will you train her? If you train that person for one month will you pay while on training? After training, will you let that person go?

What is "At Will" employment? Many of us want 'at will' employment, i.e. employment terms where an employee can leave 'at will' and employer can terminate employment 'at will'. For "at will" employment at any given point of time, the following must hold true - "the value of services rendered in cash and/or kind by employee to employer must be equal to the value of value of services rendered in cash and/or kind by employer to employee, else at time of termination of employment the inequality in services rendered or received must be resolved. The amusing thing in life is that most of us who want 'at will' employment will not themselves as managers hire an 'at will' employee to work for them. How many of us as employers, as managers will like to hire a person who has been moving from job to job every year. If every employee keeps moving from one company to another every year or every month, then "God Save America!" - every great company, every great nation is built by employees who work multiyear and strive to add value every minute.

In SpaceAge we render phenomenal amount of service to each employee. Each one of our employees unanimously agrees that not a single employer in their life time would have ever rendered them such service. How is this possible?  My background is unique. Ever since I was in eight grade I have been studying, researching, working in multiple areas, multiple disciplines; and one important area I have been working in is - 'developing human potential', I find myself naturally gifted in developing human potential, in helping people unleash their latent, hidden potential. 

There are times when one may not have all the required skills or expertise level required for a job and there can be times when as an employer you may not have work for an employee. What are the consequences - we all understand. In SpaceAge we retrain and re-launch careers. In SpaceAge - "If a way does not exist, we make one." If an employee or potential employee is reasonable, understanding, practical, moral, just and fair then we have always succeeded in making a way where none existed.
There can be no lasting progress, there can be no stable social order unless we have a strong moral foundation. At SpaceAge we dare to carry our conscience to work and in everything we do, we strive to uphold Honor, Justice and Morality. At SpaceAge we feel happy when individuals who are just, fair, ethical and moral join our team.
On Earth, everyone has the right to advance, to move ahead, to better ones living condition - let us dare to do so by the sweat of our brow, and not by tramping on people, by mugging other people, coworkers and employers, betraying the trust people place in us. At the time of recruitment we agree on what we give and what we get, what service we provide and what we expect in return and then "we honor it". We do not change the rules of the game in mid air. If a deal is unfair lets not sign up.
We often complain and criticize the poor quality of service provided at the bank, post office, restaurant, during flight, travel, etc. How many of us have the courage to look at ourselves in the mirror and assess the quality of service we provide each day at work or at home.
All great leaders, thinkers, poets, philosophers and scriptures say: "to do something unethical, immoral, unjust and unfair is a sin, and to watch someone do something unethical, immoral, unjust and unfair Ė and look the other way Ė is also a sin. Every civilized nation strives to have laws that are ethical, moral, just and fair. However in all nations both law makers and law enforces have human flaws.
For Computer Professionals : In SpaceAge we donít have any 'bench period'. To be very frank, we just donít quite comprehend the concept of bench?  We refuse to accept the irrational, illogical concept of bench. There are thousands of employees laid off by fortune 500 companies, are they on bench? Does Joe Bloom pay his baby sitter after his baby has grown up and while he is waiting for his next baby to arrive? Let us dare to earn our bread by the sweat of our brow and let us have the courage to accept that when there is no work all companies have lay offs. But unlike the rest of the world, in SpaceAge we retrain and re-launch careers. In SpaceAge, we have the ultimate job security. If a way does not exist, we make one. The competent and capable, are never on bench.
SpaceAge is a Software Services Firm. At SpaceAge we are a team of Software Engineers. We provide software development services to our clients. Some clients outsource software development to SpaceAge and such projects are done at SpaceAge site. Some clients due to security and administrative reasons require that we work at client site. After completion of project we can be assigned to work on another project which can be at client site or SpaceAge site.

One of the most difficult to comprehend thing about our industry is - "billing rates". An employee working at client site often feels - "my employer is paying me $ 50,000 per annum, client is paying $100 an hour - this is all my money!!!". Please let me give an analogy. I have interviewed several attorneys out of college and working for law firms. They work on legal cases, the law firm charges the client $150 to $300 per hour and the attorney is paid a salary about $50,000 to $ 70,000 per annum. 'An employee working on a client site project' - does not happen just like that, does not come about just like that. It requires a corporation, it requires an entire team, it requires team work. Can we sit back and think - "is it not this way in every business?" Even at Microsoft, we write code and Bill Gates becomes a billionaire, can we say: "Hey Bill, I wrote that code, give me my money." If we work, manufacturing toothpaste or selling toothpaste can we say: "that is all my money." In all businesses, it takes team work and it takes years of hard work to build the business and to bring in revenues. A typical sales person has to sell $200,000.00 so as to earn a salary of about $35,000.00. A typical factory workers has to manufature items worth at least $200,000.00 so as to can earn a salary of about $35,000.00. In every business an employee working on revenue earning side has to bring in revenues at least four times his/her salary.

There is a great shortage of skilled software engineers. One of the most challenging problems we face in the software services industry is "betrayal of faith, betrayal of trust". If we have any issues, we need to talk, we need to discuss in a calm relaxed manner, we need to reasonable, we need to be ethical, moral, just and fair. After we come to an agreement, then we need to honor the agreement. All scriptures agree, all great leaders, thinkers, poets, philosophers agree: "what is worse sin than rape? Betrayal! Betryal of faith." A person who robs the bank can qualify to be called a human being. But a person who betrays someone's faith, betrays someone's trust, does not qualify to be called a human being.

We are a nation of Laws - laws that uphold what is ethical, moral, just and fair. But in many ways our laws are still very primitive. While we understand robbing an item worth $1 from a grocery store is a crime, everyday in broad daylight there are several crimes committed in the business world. While we understand causing physical pain is a crime, we still do not understand causing psychological pain is a crime as well. Laws related to the business world - civil law isunreachable. A law that is unreachable, is no law. Our legislators are not God, and at times they do pass laws that do not uphold what is ethical, moral, just and fair. Unfortunately we have unethical laws that are cleverly sugar coated. And then comes the integrity of those who enforce the laws.

It is good to have laws. But can we ever have laws covering every aspect of human life, scrutinizing every human transaction. Joe Bloom did not rob the bank today because he knows the law says "if you rob the bank you go to jail". Tom did not rob the bank because he knows it is unethical, immoral, unjust and unfair. We ought to be guided by our judgement faculties, by our conscience, by our moral compass. The trouble with morality is that every one tweaks the definition of morality to suit his own convenience, to suit his circumstance. We need to develop our judgement faculties, logical thinking faculties, analytical ability; we need to calibrate our moral compass and the best way to do it is to study biographies of great people such as MK Gandhi, Mother Theresa, Dr. Martin Luther King, Abraham Lincoln, etc.

There is an incredible moral rot taking place in the business world. On a city street there are some grocery stores. If there are no cops in town what will happen. There will be looting. There are no cops in the business world. If we rob a grocery store even for $1, the grocery store owner can dial 911 and the cops will come in an instant. In the business world, if we break contracts, if we do something unethical, immoral, unjust or unfair - we cannot dial 911. The civil law is unreachable. Litigation takes several years, costs hundreds of thousands of dollars - no small business can afford it.

The trouble with morality in our world is that we expect it out of others not out of ourselves.

For Evil to succeed, it is only necessary for the Good to do nothing.

"Mans inhumanity to man is tragic and lamentable". -- Mark Twain.

I think nothing is more important in life than being ethical, moral, just and fair; in trying to do good to every one; in giving one's word and honoring it.

When we work for any employer and when we serve our clients, we should understand - there is a lot at stake, we should work hard and we should do what ever it takes to deliver high quality results.

There is no greater disservice to oneself, to one's family, to the community, to the nation and to the human race, than to do something unethical, immoral, unjust and unfair.

Our world is a beautiful place because of the life and sacrifices of those who have moral courage. Some of us come into the world to add value and some to live as parasites - eroding and eating into the fabric of life.

As we are born on this planet we inherit a lot, what we inherit is the result of the sweat and toil of those who lived in the past and those alive. Having inherited so much our duty is: (1) To preserve it. (2) To add to it, in whatever little way we can. And (3) To pass it on to the coming generations.

Capt. Alexander Malhan.
(Capt. Surender Malhan)
President and CTO.

"A myriad of men are born. They labor and sweat and struggle for bread. They squabble and scold and fight. They scramble for little mean advantages over each other. Age creeps upon them. Ambition is dead, longing for release is in their place. It comes at last, the only un-poisoned gift Earth ever had for them, and, they vanish from a world where they were of no consequence."  -- Mark Twain.