Journey of a Serial Entrepreneur

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How to get from where you are to where you want to be

Integrity

“Have the courage to say no. Have the courage to face the truth. Do the right thing because it is right. These are the magic keys to living your life with integrity.” W. Clement Stone

Integrity is a foundation block of building trust, in both life and business. Our integrity levels are built upon our value and belief systems. It is these systems which define us as individuals and businesses. Ensuring that the core values which define us as individuals, are in congruence with the values we want our business to be defined by, is vital. A mismatch between these two creates substantial friction. Therefore, it is essential when building your team, to get individuals who have similar values and beliefs. Integrity however is not something which is developed overnight. An individual or organization needs to work hard and consistently to develop an image of integrity. 

Our integrity is based purely on actions and decisions we make in life. They reflect who we are and what we stand for. Listed below are a couple of integrity benchmarks to help gauge integrity levels:

1. Congruence: This is an essential sub component when evaluating integrity levels. Complete congruence is when we think, speak and act in an identical fashion. However in this day and age, this is becoming increasingly difficult. Organizations want to make money, to achieve this they embellish their services with words which are not actual representations of what they provide, finally, they provide customers with sub par services to achieve their primary goal. Such an organization will find it impossible to build a loyal customer base, and will probably not be around for very long. We have to ensure that are actions are in congruence with our thoughts and words both as individuals and organizations.

2. Commitment: Promises made by individual or business must be honored. If your business guarantee’s 99% uptime of your services, make sure that there is an adequate infrastructure in place to support that commitment. I am sure we have all come across individuals who promise us the world, but when it comes down to getting things done, they rarely deliver. Such individuals get labelled as big talkers and cannot be depended on. Therefore, be very careful when making bold statements and promises to customers. 

3. Courage: In life, at some point or other, most of us will find ourselves at a crossroads of opportunities where taking the easy way out goes against all our principles and beliefs. It is at moments such as these that an individual’s integrity is truly tested. This is specially true where money is concerned, and we have seen many public cases where senior management compromised their values for short term monetary gains. Many businesses turn a blind eye to sweat shops, below quality products and poor service.  Not standing up for your principles and beliefs makes developing a reputation for integrity a very challenging task. 

I hope these benchmarks will get one thinking about personal integrity as well as that of the business. Without this crucial element, we could have the next killer product, service or idea, and yet not succeed. One needs to be constantly vigilant about what our thoughts, words and actions are communicating. An immediate exercise one can do with our teams is value identification. This will help clarify the team’s and businesses common value systems as a whole. This list can help measure actions against them, to gauge the sort of image being projected.

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One Response

  1. […] 1. Integrity: Integrity is based purely on the actions and decisions we make in life. They reflect who we are and what we stand for. Three measures to use to benchmark our own level of integrity are ; firstly, are we congruent in our thoughts, words and actions? The second one is, do we honor our promises and commitments to ourselves and others? The last one, do we possess the courage to stand up for our values and beliefs in the face of resistance? These questions can serve as a guide to learn more about personal and business integrity levels. To read more about trust and integrity please click here. […]

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