Nearly everyone agrees integrity in business is important. It’s a buzzword you see in many corporate mission statements and on numerous resumes. But what exactly does it mean? How can we demonstrate integrity in business on a day to day basis? And is it really that big of a deal?
Yes. Integrity matters. In fact, to quote Alan K. Simpson, “If you have integrity, nothing else matters. If you don’t have integrity, nothing else matters.” Let’s talk about why.
Finding Integrity in Business
This month, we at Building Careers celebrate four years of inspiring people to succeed. And we would like to highlight one of the core values we believe has been crucial to our success. We’ve found integrity is a very real, governing principle that has real-life consequences in our personal and professional lives. We believe it can make all the difference for you, too.
You can find integrity in business in many places:
- The employee who stands up for her co-worker when the boss mistakenly blames the co-worker for her failure.
- The job candidate who gives straightforward answers about gaps in a work history.
- The consultant who clearly explains why a deadline was missed.
- The executive who sets clear expectations and doesn’t change them.
- The broker who lives up to each promise made to the client.
We face integrity decisions on daily basis. And whether or not we make smart decisions determines how we are perceived, how we perceive ourselves, and even how we perceive others. Those who live out integrity in business often find others of like conviction to partner with. Ethical behavior tends to breed more ethical behavior.
But it can be challenging in the world of commercial real estate to consistently make the right judgment calls. Many situations can be confusing. How forthcoming should be brokers be about possible delays in closing time? Where do contractors draw the line regarding necessary and unnecessary expenses? How much of a third-party property manager’s time was allotted for working on the client’s CAM reconciliations versus busy work?
The nature of integrity in business is such that there is no policy manual to cover every contingency – it’s just plain tricky. And so working with people committed to integrity in business is all the more important. Because integrity isn’t a simple matter of following the corporate policy. It’s a philosophy – an attitude that governs every interaction.
The benefits of making honest decisions and doing the right thing in the workplace are significant. This isn’t a matter of ethics for ethics sake. Those who do the right thing and exhibit honesty and integrity in business typically enjoy the payoff.
- Honest employees are more trusted by their peers and thus more productive team players.
- Companies that always deliver on their promises build mutual respect with clients and are thus more likely to be forgiven or understood should a misstep or complication occur.
- Businesses who have the reputation for integrity are well known and liked and thus more likely to get more and repeat business.
- Firms known for their smart business dealings typically have a more loyal following.
- Ethical companies often have more ethical employees who serve as excellent brand ambassadors.
- Companies that clearly communicate and always do exactly what they say have fewer misunderstandings and more happy client relationships.
- Trustworthy businesses often work on more sensitive projects dealing with confidential information yielding greater returns.
Integrity matters in so many ways. Companies and professionals who practice integrity in business are a joy to work with. They do not act based on the profit motive alone or sell out their convictions for a price. Working with people who have a reputation for honesty and integrity makes every step of the process more rewarding and productive.
In these relationships, commitments are paramount. Honesty dictates not only that no lies are told but also that the whole truth is disclosed. Integrity serves as an anchor that keeps all other ethics intact. Engagements are always respectful and considerate. And ultimately, success thrives in an atmosphere of trust.
If you would like to work with some of the ethical businesses and professionals we network with, contact us today!