16 Apr 2015

Building Integrity by Doing the Right Thing for the Right Reasons

There’s an old adage that says: “Wisdom is knowing the right path to take. Integrity is taking it.” It’s easy to say that you have integrity and are trustworthy, but actually having integrity – and just doing the right thing for the right reasons – is something we don’t always actively think about in business.

Of course you WANT to do the right thing, but it’s not always the easy choice. Honestly, when was the last time you let the bottom line keep you from making the right decision? When did your emotional investment sway you to act in a way you regretted later? But doing the right thing is about more than making the right decision for your business; it all comes down to doing the right thing because you should. And the kicker? NOT expecting recognition for doing the right thing. The right thing should be the default – not something that earns you a pat on the back.

That said, just because you shouldn’t expect acknowledgement doesn’t mean you should forget to recognize others. If everyone was always out for themselves, what kind of world would be live in? As a business exercise, think about the best boss you ever had. Chances are that you felt you could trust that person and they treated you fairly, complimented you on work done especially well, corrected you when needed and encouraged you to grow personally and professionally. That individual was a good role model for you because they did the right thing and they had integrity. Do you run your business and manage in a way that would make that boss proud of the business person you’ve become?

So what decision are you facing this week that could pull you away from doing the right thing? How will that decision affect you and your business next month or next year? It’s easy to be cynical and take the well-traveled road, but it’s always better to be the light in a sometimes dark business world.

– Nathan Owens, President of The Growth Coach