Operate With Integrity

Integrity is defined as having the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles, moral uprightness.  Are you operating your business or organization with integrity?

To operate with integrity in your business or organization means that people can trust you and the services or products that you deliver.  Providing the best service or product all the time may be difficult but should be the ultimate goal.  We can blame the vendor, the customer, or some other situation but at the end of it all, it is the business owner or leaders “fault.”  As the saying goes the buck stops here and you are the “here.” 

If your vendor has not delivered on time or started providing inferior products and you continue to use them then it is your fault.  If your customer(s) consistently push you to behave in a manner that is unprofessional, and you continue to do business with them, then it is your fault.  If your employee is rude to your customers, steals or never opens on time and you have not properly addressed the issue – it is your fault.  I understand that there should be a grace period of giving the vendor, customer or employee an opportunity to correct the error.  However, a time limit has to be established so that your business does not fail because of lack of action. 

At some point, we’ve all experienced either providing or receiving “bad” service.  How we recover from it is what is important.  Your business has to consistently rise to the top, overcome the situation and provide excellent service.  Yes, the products that you are providing today may not be the quality that you typically provide, but don’t allow that product to become the face of your business.  Work on improving or restoring the product to the original quality or getting a new vendor.  We all hate the bait and switch that some businesses have been known for; you know changing the quality once the business grows.

For service providers, if you have a customer or client that “gets under your skin,” first check yourself.  Do they get under your skin because there is truth in what they say? If so, take time to evaluate what they have said and how changes can be made. Or, do they get under your skin because they consistently expect you to compromise your integrity? If so, fire them.  Don’t allow a customer to change your moral principles.

If you are operating a non-profit organization, the success of the organization is dependent on the integrity of those that operate the program.  People give to people that they can trust.  If you lose the trust of the givers, the organization is now in an unfavorable position.  The goal of the organization should be to always use the funds as intended and help those as described in the mission statement.

Depending on your industry, there may be fines or penalties for providing a bad product or service. When you or your business is presented with a situation that is questionable – always ask yourself, “Is it worth the fine or penalty when I get caught?”  If it is not, then decline the business.  Your business or organization will grow & flourish when you operate with integrity and not be afraid to turn away negative business.

Be the business that you would want to do business with.  Do not be afraid to turn down customers. Do not be afraid to evaluate your service and make necessary improvements so that your business can grow. Regardless of how many customers you have or how profitable your business may appear; your integrity is always more valuable.