Integrity and honesty in business is one of the most important traits that any entrepreneur can have. In fact, the foundation of leadership has to lie in honesty and integrity. It might seem like something that need not be taken seriously, but trust me, it translates to success in the future.
In the words of billionaire Jon Huntsman, “There are no moral shortcuts in the game of business or life. There are, basically, three kinds of people, the unsuccessful, the temporarily successful and those who become and remain successful. Their difference is character.
There are stories of people who became successful and later lost business simply because of a lack of integrity. Cheating will catch up to you eventually, and the success that those leaders once had will just be temporary.
But what does integrity mean. This simply means that you do the right things the right way just because it’s the right thing to do. Leaders who are honest and have integrity are not interested in being flashy. They just concentrate on doing things the right way.
Integrity means that once you make a promise as a leader, you are keen at seeing it through. This also means that you will be very selective when it comes to which promise and who you are making that promise to. Otherwise, people who are less honest—the “yes” type, will agree to anything just to close a deal.
The truth tends to confuse a lot of people even in leadership. There is a difference between how you want things to be and how things actually are. Integrity means that you are not afraid of the truth. As much as a business leader needs to be brave, he also needs to be accepting of the fact that there is a possibility that they could be wrong.
Failing because you will simply not accept the fact that you are wrong is a very real possibility.
In this day and age there is too much information going around. There is every possibility that you could make an assumption that is wrong. This is not to say that as a leader it is wrong making assumptions but it’s important to leave yourself open to the possibility of being wrong.
Integrity and Honesty should be the underlying principle with every entrepreneur. There are no excuses for this. It is not situational but should be a constant state of mind. If for example you are able to compromise on the small things, you will eventually find that you will also compromise the integrity with the big situations simply for convenience sake.
As a leader with integrity and honesty, you will be able to treat people justly even when they are unfair. This will eventually create a more hospitable working environment and relationship with your employees. What’s more, when they view you as both strong and just, they are more willing to respect you and follow your lead.