It is true that the characteristics of a person may determine his or her success in corporate America. But the corporate world operates through the principles of economics: supply, demand and competition. This summarizes how a person’s success in the corporate world as determined by his or her characteristics is also determined by the principles of economics.
There is no doubt that corporations exist to do service to others, but most of the time, if not all the time, this is only a secondary aim. Corporations admit it or not, are of course created to bring profit for their owner/s. The purpose of capital is to produce more capital. Corporations are put up to grow an economy. Owners of corporations put up their enterprise with capital gains in mind.
While being motivated by sheer altruism is well and good, this may prove to be dangerous for any business and in the long-run to the consumers themselves, without the support of third-parties. Simple economic theories support that businesses, if not motivated by any economic incentives would be ruinous to itself (because it won’t be able to support itself) and to others (because the business wouldn’t be able to provide quality service).
Thus, it is only expected that owners of corporations are characterized as being driven, and motivated by self-interest (corporate interest) more than being motivated by service to others.
Corporations are viewed in light of an atmosphere of competition. That a company provides quality service is only secondary, done only as a means to further business interests. After all, the corporation is not expected to succeed if it continues to offer poor quality products or services; Demand decreases as consumers flock to rival firms, and they are expected to reduce their prices, therefore reducing their profits.
This is the corporate world—full of self-driven individuals, aware of the principle of survival and motivated by economic incentives. Whether one likes it or not, the natural tendency of people to become entangled in the principles of economics propagates a dog-eat-dog world wherein the meek struggles and the ruthless survives.
When everyone is expected to be ruthless in the corporate America, how is it possible for someone to succeed if such person himself is not as ruthless or better yet, more ruthless? Such person will be easily crushed. How is someone to succeed if such person is so limited by his averseness to risks? Opportunities and growth unfortunately, do not come without risks. Therefore, a person who is incapable of taking risks and cannot be ruthless when situations call for it cannot be expected to succeed in the business world that apparently requires such characteristics in order to just survive.
However, ruthlessness, tough-mindedness and the ability to take risks do not equate to dishonesty, lack of ethics, and unscrupulousness—characteristics of a businessman as portrayed by media. The latter characteristics are not requisites of survival. A person may be both ruthless and tough-minded while still remaining virtuous.
In other words, success may come even without being dishonest, unethical or unscrupulous. In fact, the latter characteristics may even lead to the demise of a corporation. People, after all, should not be expected to be incapable of seeing behind any act of unscrupulousness. Once detected, the fall of the business is likely to follow as the law of demand and supply again, takes over.