From an early age, I have always been interested in the larger fortune 500 companies, as my grandfather was the CEO for a rather well-known company, JLG Industries, Inc. My grandfather has always been a source of inspiration for me as he has and will continue to harp on hard work and academic excellence. I could always count on him no matter what the issue; he always had my best interest at heart. When I would visit the JLG headquarters as a “youngin”, I never fully understood the responsibilities that he took on as the chief executive. As we have been digging deeper into Enron, AIG, and Nike, it has become much clearer to me what kind of role he took on and how important good business ethics are.
Various Products Offered by JLG:
I strongly believe that poor management is a clear aspect of every one of the above cases whether it was Skilling and Lay, Phil Knight, or Greenberg. All of these executives did not execute proper management and moreover proper business ethics. In learning about these characters, I realize what ambition and commitment it took for my grandfather, David Black (pictured on the left), to run a tight shift and not give in as they did. In all the cases, these executives took advantage of the opportunity to make a “quick buck” and we can all attest to the result of that opportunity. Through exercising good business ethics, Mr. Black was able to lead JLG to its highest production of boom lifts and even reach its highest revenue figures. Furthermore, JLG was able to buyout Gradall, a hydraulic lift company, and continue down its path of success. In gaining a further understanding of this type of commitment, I can only aspire to be even more like Mr. Black.
Turning 75 just yesterday, my grandfather and I speak on a weekly basis and his first question 9 out of 10 times is, “How are your grades?”. Having someone like this in my life has truly driven me to be a person of strong ethical grounds, especially as it relates to business. As I prepare to enter the financial world this summer and beyond, I know, without really knowing, that my ethics will come into question. Odds are I will be faced with a decision that could have serious consequences; both good and bad. Through his constant guidance and our study as it relates to business ethics, I can continue to prepare for what lies ahead in the “real” world and differentiate between good and bad business decisions.
Thus far, BGS has enabled me to get a better grip on the kinds of wrongdoings that take place on a day to day basis in the business world. As an aspiring businessman, this is certainly helpful to know what I may come in contact with. Luckily, I have had an inspirational grandfather that has instilled in me a drive for excellence and represents an ideal execution of good business ethics. In this respect, I will be able to directly apply ethical reasoning to any situation and use my grandfather as a real life example as evidence of its success.