Three Keys to Conducting Yourself and Your Business With Integrity
Integrity needs to be at the core of every successfully functioning group, system, or community. From the world to the country, from the state to the town, all the way down to the most important building blocks of society, the family unit and the individual. It all works best when everything manifests from a place of truth and honesty. When everything starts from a place of integrity.
The same is true for your business and your working relationships. Jack Canfield says in his book, “The Success Principles,” that “Everything you think, say, and do needs to become intentional and aligned with your purpose, your values, and your goals.” Sure, business can be conducted without these things all lining up like a rainbow, but everything flows more smoothly toward success when integrity is at the forefront.
So let’s talk about some ways to conduct yourself with integrity—at home, within your company, and also with your clients and customers. Here are three things you can do right now to move yourself and your company to the front of the pack.
Keep Your Word and Your Promises
You might think this goes without saying, but in today’s increasingly divided society, this basic building block of integrity needs to be highlighted. Promises need to be kept—it’s as simple and as complex as that. Word is bond. Handshakes are great as long as they mean something. Make sure that to you, they mean everything.
Don’t over-promise. Instead, over-deliver. Be clear in your expectations for yourself, your employees, and your clients. Without customers or clients, businesses die. And as an entrepreneur, you have a vested interest in keeping your business alive. Decide what your business stands for and don’t stray from that. Your employees and clients will respect you and your company more, and they’ll feel more comfortable working with you since they know what to expect.
Keeping your promises and making every effort to over-deliver on the things you’ve said yes to is vital to success. But perhaps equally important is knowing what to turn down. Knowing what to say no to. Which leads to the next point.
Draw Bright Lines Around Your Work and Your Business
Entrepreneurs live in a grey world. Nothing is black or white. Our personal lives blend into our work. That’s part of the attraction of building a company, right? You are your business, and your business is you. Every effort put in gets a proportionate reward, and as the owner or owner-operator, you are in control of your response and results. But in the never-ending quest for balance between our personal and professional lives, we need to draw bright lines between work time and non-work time. And we need to communicate where those lines are.
Sometimes, you simply have to say no. It’s okay to try new things and venture outside your comfort zone. After all, that’s what this crazy ride of entrepreneurship is all about, right? But you need the clarity to know and communicate the things your business does and does not do. As I said earlier, it’s always best to over-deliver for others. But you need to define what your company stands for and the services it provides, thus limiting the number of awkward “we don’t do that” conversations. Drawing bright lines around your mission statement and the services your company provides is another way to make both your clients and employees more comfortable.
Share Your Mission Statement Everywhere
Mission statements are vital to the success of any company. They help everyone who works for you understand the company’s goals (mission) and stay focused on delivering high-quality service. And a mission statement helps your customers, clients, and prospects see what you stand for and what your company’s values are.
Here are some examples of mission statements from some of the world’s most successful companies.
“To be Earth’s most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online, and endeavors to offer its customers the lowest possible prices.” – Amazon
“To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” – Google
“To be one of the world’s leading producers and providers of entertainment and information, using its portfolio of brands to differentiate its content, services and consumer products.” – Walt Disney
“We save people money so they can live better.” – Walmart
As you can see, mission statements come in all shapes and sizes. They can be short and simple or a little more complex. The point is, they communicate the most important goals of the company.
I’ll talk more about how to craft your mission statement in a future post, but for now the message is simple. You need a mission statement or goal statement for your company. It needs to be clear and concise enough to communicate your goals completely.
Then, once you have your mission statement defined, you need to share it everywhere.
Employees, from your newest temp to the veteran accountant on the third floor, need to know it and be able to tell it to anyone. The CEO and the warehouse worker should be able to share your company’s mission statement. Paint it on prominent walls for all to see. Don’t go so far as to get a tattoo, but do everything short of that in order to communicate what your company stands for at every opportunity.
Define your company’s values and mission. Create your mission statement. Share it everywhere to communicate to your clients, customers, and workers what is most important to conducting your business.
Integrity is the single most important building block for any functioning unit or organization. Today I’ve outlined three big ways to make sure you and your company don’t lose sight of that. There are more, but following these three tips will certainly distance you from the pack.
Keeping your word, drawing bright lines around your work time, and sharing your mission statement as much as possible will help catapult your company in the years to come. Whether in business or your personal life, you can apply these tips every day, and you will live a more honest, open, and enjoyable existence.
What are some signs you look for when evaluating the integrity of a company or a person? Share in the comments below!