In business, having values is very important and integrity is at the heart of it. Without integrity, stakeholders have no trust in the business. Integrity is doing the right thing even when no one else is around. It is the ability to act with honesty based on moral value or belief compass.
As a business owner, your personal integrity is reflected in the way you do business. Integrity in business boils down to building and maintaining trust even if it means making tough choices. Integrity must start at the helm and then trickle down to employees till it becomes the heart and soul of the company lifestyle.
Acting with integrity can prove even more difficult under adverse condition if your business is struggling. You will be more willing to keep afloat by resorting to business practices that promote short term gain at the cost of your integrity.
There are different elements that make up integrity. These elements transfer it as an attractive concept into practice.
The first being trust. Trust is in short supply these days and you need to put in effort to make transparent priorities in business.
The second is Consistency. You don’t hold up the moral stick only when its convenient. Consistency means not ignoring an old client if a more lucrative offer comes around.
Ownership is the third which is basically taking responsibility for your mistakes and remaining accountable. The last is collectively with your team members work towards the same values. The onus lies on you to find and hire the right kind of people that will share your values on integrity.
A lot of business owners make the mistake of thinking profit is ultimate in business. This is so far from the truth because a business without integrity might initially make profit but is doomed to fail in the long run. A business that builds trust, is consistent, and meets up with commitments will avoid trouble, get satisfied customers who will always return.
In order to succeed as a business owner, you cannot afford questionable integrity. It is quite easy to detect a lack of integrity but will take many actions to reset if you go wrong.