We all have them. Those moments in time that linger with us, those events that forever shape us, and mold us into realizing, and understanding who, and what we are that goes above, and beyond what we are taught in our youth, and it happens in order to further shape, and mold us into understanding the reason(s) why we are who we are, and take the path that we do that we may not have grasped in our youth as we were originally being taught these morals, and values to begin with.
This past weekend I was reminded of that moment in time in a very odd way. This past weekend I was reminded that there are people who walk into our lives that we could have great personal or, professional relationships with but, their choices, and their integrity prevent it from ever developing into what it could, and in some cases should mold in to for the benefit of ourselves, each other, and others who we don’t even realize could or, would benefit from it.
The word Integrity has been on my mind a lot lately primarily because, it’s more than just a word that is actually a way of life, it’s actions that tell people who you are, and as I found myself walking up to that New Years Eve event the word that was used to describe me told me that without even trying to make that statement, and without trying to really do anything other than be myself, and go out to enjoy a night with friends, and see people that I haven’t seen in awhile my character, and my integrity are seen, noted, and valued – and this was all from a woman who had never seen or, met me before.
The word she used was exact, she was dead on, and she had never even met me, and yet her, and I both know that I am the rarity. I am just me but, me for all that I am is rare because, I am what people need me to be, I keep an open mind, and I’m experienced in a multitude of areas that are seen as an asset, and something to be valued for a reason. The same applies to me in business. I’ve worked in every single area of the business field over the last 12 years going on 13. From general customer service roles, to admin positions, to finance, marketing, sales, and even making C Level decisions working on Taxation, Mergers and Acquisitions as well as business and marketing proposals there isn’t much if anything that I haven’t had my hands on, and my analytical mind in the middle of but, it is because I am good at what I do. Just do not put Algebra in front of me.
But What Is Integrity, and Why Is It So Important To Carry That Quality?
If you Google the word integrity you will come up with many definitions, and perspectives.
Urban Dictionary: Doing The Right Thing When No One Is Looking
Merriam-Webster: firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values – Incorruptibility
As I continued to research the word of integrity I of course came to Wikipedia and what did I find but, something that struck a chord within, and it was the following line. “Integrity can stand in opposition to hypocrisy.” and what it is that makes me resonate with that so much is the fact that, that is the exact mission I’ve been on in a few areas lately both in business, and in personal situations.
So how do we ensure that we maintain a standard of integrity in our businesses?
Let’s take a look:
- Maintain Honesty With Your Clients – Honesty really is the best quality. One thing that I have learned is that sometimes potential clients will want you to have experience or, resources that you don’t have. Being honest, and upfront about your own resources, and abilities gets you much further ahead – even if you never obtain the client because of it. Honesty really is the best policy, and lies will be uncovered eventually. The truth always wins out.
- Don’t Make Promises You Can’t Keep – This is unfortunately one of the things that I see the most in businesses where promises are made that can’t be kept. I spend a lot of time working on projects that other people were hired to do originally, and unfortunately that means I work an insane amount of crazy hours that sometimes run into the early hours of the next day in order to meet deadlines that need to be met. On a positive note however, I recently had a very positive experience with Enterprise (The Car Rental Company) that quite honestly beyond blew me away because, of an already established professional relationship that dates back 12 years in a situation that probably would have been impossible in most other situations. Your character, your integrity, and your professional relationships really do matter. (Eventually I will write a full detailed post on this because, it truly is worth notating.)
- Strive For Quality – Taking short cuts often lead us to a place where we find ourselves lost, and maybe more importantly stressed out. When you strive for quality work, and quality results what you ultimately tell your clients, community, and even your employees is that you value their business, you value their time, and you value your own company’s reputation enough to not undercut them with just mediocre. If you won’t settle for less than you deserve, purchase etc…. why should your clients who are paying for your products / services?
- Respect your Employees, and Team – This one is short and simple. If your employees, and team are happy they will project that positive energy into an experience that becomes positive for your clients. Happy employees mean happy clients. It’s truly as simple as that.
- Raise Company Standards & Strive For Excellence – When you raise the bar on your company standards by promoting an atmosphere, and energy field of positive outlooks, goals, and general standards what you do is use the law of attraction so to speak to promote a sense of excellence in business that truly raises the bar for your clients so that they continue to come back as well as refer you to peers, and those they come in contact with. Just recently (On New Years Day Actually) I received a phone call from a woman who obtained my contact information from a police officer who knew I was a credible option to meet her needs. That contract brought in over $350.00 and I didn’t have to do anything but, do what I said I would do for someone else who then passed my information along to someone else in need. (Thank you)
- Value Your Brand’s Reputation – When you value your own brands reputation what you are doing is striving for excellence, and integrity. A business will never obtain success through mediocre work or, laziness. Valuing your reputation shows your employees, and clients alike that you have a no non sense policy, you mean what you say, and you keep your promises which is what continues to build your reputation.
- Admit and Own Up To Failures – It happens to the best of us. Whether you are new or, seasoned at what you do or, in your business in general the day will come when you will not measure up to the expectation of your client or, will not be able to make something work no matter how much you may want to make it work. It isn’t an easy place to be but, no one ever said the right choices are easy. Learn from your mistakes, own up to the inability, apologize, and walk away knowing that you at least learned from the experience, project or, moment in time that it was. If the door won’t open don’t keep banging on it – it’s usually closed for a reason, and as frustrating as it may seem in the moment there are some situations (more often than not) where you will come to realize that the struggle that is very real was actually meant to teach you so, that you would learn something from it.
How about yourself? How about your company? How do you strive to promote, and walk in the practice of doing business in Integrity? I’d love to hear your thoughts.