Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Bribery is a $1 Trillion Dollar Industry

Daniel Kaufmann, the institute director of Governance at the World Bank, estimates that $1 Trillion of bribes are paid worldwide in both rich and developing countries; One out of every 30 dollars in the world is spent as a bribe.

The World Bank's research "shows that countries which tackle corruption and improve their rule of law can increase their national incomes by as much as four times in the long term, and child mortality can fall as much as 75 percent."

Interestingly enough, the most effective tool to fight corruption has been identified by the World Bank as transparency;, freedom of the press, freedom of information, and asset disclosure.

Democratic businesses have found, like the World Bank, that being proactively transparent with all financial information fights corruption, creates efficiency, unity, & understanding, and causes employees to be paid for what they are worth and not for the amount that companies can acquire them for.

Now, if only we could force the World Bank to be transparent...

If you want to help democratize the world, and increase corporate transparency, visit, enter your salary, and browse the salaries of others within your company and around the world.

(Quotation taken from

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How Will You Measure Your Life?

I recently read this article by Clayton Christiansen out of Harvard entitled, “How will you measure your life?” It is what he tells his students on the final day of his class.

One of the items that he mentions sticks out to me. It reads as follows:

“One of the theories, . . . . . how to be sure we find happiness in our careers—is from Frederick Herzberg, who asserts that the powerful motivator in our lives isn’t money; it’s the opportunity to learn, grow in responsibilities, contribute to others, and be recognized for achievements. I tell the students about a vision of sorts I had while I was running the company I founded before becoming an academic. In my mind’s eye I saw one of my managers leave for work one morning with a relatively strong level of self-esteem. Then I pictured her driving home to her family 10 hours later, feeling unappreciated, frustrated, underutilized, and demeaned. I imagined how profoundly her lowered self-esteem affected the way she interacted with her children. The vision in my mind then fast-forwarded to another day, when she drove home with greater self-esteem—feeling that she had learned a lot, been recognized for achieving valuable things, and played a significant role in the success of some important initiatives. I then imagined how positively that affected her as a spouse and a parent. My conclusion: Management is the most noble of professions if it’s practiced well. No other occupation offers as many ways to help others learn and grow, take responsibility and be recognized for achievement, and contribute to the success of a team. More and more [people think] that a career in business means buying, selling, and investing in companies. That’s unfortunate. Doing deals doesn’t yield the deep rewards that come from building up people."

I’m sure you can see why it sticks out.