Let’s stop talking theory and start changing our actions.
Ethical theory lends itself to a classroom. In the business world we need to see it to believe it. People are shaped by actions. People are impacted by what is actually done. People remember what you do. Below are 7 actions you can take today. These actions will improve your personal integrity and in turn your whole life will be better.
1) Practice Honesty In All Situations
Honesty is a virtue. It is also way underrated in our culture. It seems like everyone lies. In fact, often we are more surprised when someone comes clean and tells the truth. Maybe this is why businesses tend to accept unacceptable behavior by their management, employees and customers. By simply practicing honesty you will set yourself apart. People will trust you, and they will respect you. However, you must practice honesty in all situations (especially the tough ones.)
2) Keep Your Promises
If you tell someone that you will do X, Y, and Z then do X, Y, and Z. Do not do A, B, and C so you can justify not actually doing X, Y, and Z. People remember what you say. They remember a promise, and they really remember when you fail to follow through on a promise. Stand by you word, no matter the cost. It is a currency that should never be watered down.
3) Get Back In The Game
It you mess up (and you will) it is always best to face reality. Admit it. Apologize to those who were hurt or affected by the mistake. If you can try to make it right. This is not always possible, but sometimes just making the effort can help build back the broken trust. Whatever you do, do not ignore or cover up the mistake. This does not help rebuild broken trust. It just chips away at the foundation. The best thing you can do is face the reality of the situation and try to do better tomorrow.
4) Keep Good Company
Do not waste your time with crumby people. “If you lie down with dogs you will get fleas.” If you spend time with people who have integrity then you will be held to a higher standard. I’m in the process of starting a group comprised of like-minded business men who value integrity and success. The Bible says “iron sharpens iron”. A good friend, partner or spouse can make all the difference in the world.
5) Do Not Commit To Everything
Commitment drives priorities. If you are committed to achieving a goal this year then you must take the right steps to reach it. The contrary is also true. There are a lot of good people who commit their time. Simplify what matters to you and go get it. Integrity comes in the form of follow through, not with good intentions.
6) Write It Down
This is one simple thing that will improve integrity almost instantly. It brings credibility to your words and shows people that you intend to do exactly what you say. For me, half of the things I said I would do didn’t get done because I forgot. There was no intentional break of trust. There was no outright lie. I just forgot. Thank goodness, there is a solution for this. Take the time to make a note. Then people will see you mean it and you will actually remember to do what you say you will do.
7) Be Punctual
A late person is a selfish person. They feel that their time is more important than anyone else’s schedule. Sure, that might seem like a harsh statement, but it is true. If you say you will be there at 1pm, then be a person of your word. Be there at 1pm. Punctuality is important. It shows what you value. People appreciate a punctual person.
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/24175071@N00/6479063525″>Construyendo una torre 2</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a>