Friday, February 6, 2009

Reflections on Integrity

Today had some very interesting moments - nearly all of which had to do with integrity.  Quite simply, "honesty is the best policy."  I know it sounds trite, but it really is.  You have to consider the idea of cooperation vs. defection.  All business relationships have to do with a belief that the other side of a transaction is going to act in good faith.  This is cooperation.  As you play the "cooperation card" with every transaction, trust is established and reinforced.

In any relationship, occasional defection can occur - often due to misunderstanding, occasionally due to laziness, but rarely (though it does happen) out of malicious intent (or an intent to "get more").  By making an effort to avoid defection, your word and your actions become consistent.  In business, though there may be contracts, legal documents and even more "binding" instruments, at the end of the day, it is your word which matters.  

When placed in a situation where your integrity may be questioned, stand by the side of clarity, honesty and openness.  It amazes me how often people think they are more clever than they really are.  There is always someone more perceptive, more insightful and simply smarter.  People can respect your struggle if you are clear about your limitations, liabilities and condition.  The economic conditions not withstanding - be honest first and the money will come.

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