Your integrity is the most important attribute you can have in business. Webster’s defines integrity as the quality of being honest and fair, a firm adherence to a code of moral values, an unimpaired condition and the quality or state of being complete and undivided.  Other words to define integrity include incorruptibility, soundness, character, decency, goodness, probity, rectitude, righteousness, uprightness and virtuousness. People, businesses and brands with more integrity are more successful. People want to do business with people, companies and brands they can trust and have integrity. People will continue to do more business with people, companies and brands with integrity.


Theodore Roosevelt said “Nobody cares how much you know, until they know how much you care.” Warren Buffet said “In looking to hire people, you look for three qualities; integrity, intelligence and energy. And if they don’t have the first, the other two will kill you.” Mark Twain said “If you tell the truth you don’t have to remember anything.”  Victor Kiam said “Though negotiations are a rough game, you should never allow them to become a dirty game. Once you’ve agreed to a deal, don’t back out of it unless the other party fails to deliver as promised. Your handshake is your bond. As far as I’m concerned, a handshake is worth more than a signed contract. As an entrepreneur, a reputation for integrity is your most valuable commodity. If you try to put something over on someone, it will come back to haunt you.” Benjamin Franklin said “It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one bad one to lose it.”


Integrity is based on a firm foundation of solid, unchanging values.  Integrity is doing the right thing even when no one else is looking. You should be the same person in business as well as personally. People with integrity aren’t easily influenced. They can’t be corrupted. Their value system doesn’t change. People with integrity have soundness of mind, body and spirit. Integrity is good character. People with integrity treat people with decency and exhibit goodness. They follow the Golden Rule; treat others as you would like to be treated.  People want to be dealt with fairly. People with integrity operate with morality and ethics. You can count on people with integrity. They are dependable and reliable. You don’t have to wonder where they’re coming from.


Integrity is built over a long period of time and a lot of hard work, though it’s easy to lose. The consequences of a bad reputation are devastating, especially today in the internet age with instantaneous information and feedback through Social Media, Google and Yelp. The Better Business Bureau rates company’s reputations. Your business could join them and become a member and follow their guidelines. They keep a record of how your business conducts itself, complaints against the business and how they’re handled. An A+ rating is the best you could have.


As you can see, integrity is your most important possession. How is your integrity? What are your values? What are they based on? Are they based on a solid foundation? Do you exhibit them in all aspects of your life? Continuously work on improving your integrity. Remember, it takes a lifetime to build and a moment to lose. People, businesses and brands with more integrity are more successful.







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