More than 1400 business leaders converged on Lubbock. President Bush offered advice he learned growing up right here in West Texas. And he says those values have helped him in everything from running his own oil business to running the most powerful country in the world.
The eyes and ears of our nation's business leaders were locked on former President George Bush Tuesday afternoon. For almost an hour he awed a crowd of hundreds with his advice on running businesses successfully. Advice that starts with his mother.
"My mother was our kinda ethical guide and she taught me values when I was a little tiny guy that helped me when I was in business and helped me when I was president of the United States," says Bush.
He says values she taught him as a child followed him throughout his life. Things like, talking less and listening more. Now, he's issuing a challenge to get back to family values that many business leaders say have been lost. "In business there's been an absence of it in the country or at least an absence of ethical companies and people stepping forward and talking about the subject so I was thrilled to be able to come here and talk about ethical leadership," says CEO of Cox Communications, Jim Robbins.
"The challenge for all of you now is to help change the mind set of business culture who place profit and shareholder values above law and regulations," says Bush.
And business leaders say this advice may sound simple, but ethics are often overlooked. "Especially with the articles throughout these last few years on various issues, it's important for people to remember in an organization it's how you react to adversity as opposed to when things are going great," says Interim Lubbock City Manager, Tommy Gonzalez.
And President of Market Lubbock Inc, Gary Lawrence says unethical business practices will not be tolerated. "He also left a very clear message that ethics in today's biz has to be good and it starts at the top. In Lubbock my hope is that people will say don't do the wrong thing do the right thing."
Bush adds now is the perfect time to stop unethical business using family values over greed. "I think we're sending our business community a strong signal that ethics and laws still matter. And the 'anything goes' party is over, character matters and character in business is just as important in raising our kids and helping them with values."