A practical guide for entrepreneurs about integrity? This might be what you are thinking. Shouldn’t all business owners have integrity? However, integrity is often perceived as a moral compass. For a small business owner, I argue that it’s a lifestyle or way of operating for those who really want long-term success. The term has its roots in the Latin word “integritas,” which means ‘wholeness’ or ‘completeness,’ and extends to the concept of integration. Integration also has its roots in “integritas,” which is also about harmoniously melding values, principles, and actions. But how does this abstract idea translate into the practical sphere of business?
Let’s break down these words — Integrity and Integration. Integrity is about sticking to your values, what you believe is right, and being the same person of integrity in private as you are in public. Integration means pulling together different parts to make a whole, like making a complete picture from a puzzle.
Now, the magic happens when these two come together. When you act with integrity, you’re essentially pulling your values and principles into your actions and decisions, creating a full picture of who you are in your character. It’s like wearing your heart on your sleeve, showing the world what you stand for through what you do.
So, why is this a big deal for business owners? Well, to hit the home run in the long run, you need to stick to your values and principles, no matter what curveballs are thrown at you. It’s all about being the same person when no one is watching. It’s easy to say stuff, but the real deal is in doing it and the actions you take. And when you do it right, you’re not just building a good name for yourself but also making things simpler.
Here’s the kicker — when you align your actions with your values, things just flow. No need to put on a show or live in the fear of being caught off guard. And let’s face it, if you say you want to build a rocking business based on helping others, but you’re always plotting the next scheme to make a quick buck, that’s a rocky road. Being true to your values isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme, but it’s the uncommon mindset that leads to lasting success.
Now, let’s get down to the nuts and bolts. Do you have a mission statement? Have you scribbled down your core values somewhere? If yes, awesome! If not, it’s never too late to start. Reach out to me at ConsultAaron.com and I can give you some guidance and support. Knowing what you stand for and checking your actions against those beliefs is what someone with an uncommon mindset does.
A lot of folks think integrity is all about how others see them. But the real gold is in how you see yourself. Are you being true to what you believe in? Are you being the same person in the dark as you are in the light? If the answer is yes, you’re on the right track. And guess what? This internal integrity makes decision-making a breeze and builds trust — with yourself, your team, and even your customers.
Building this kind of integrity takes time and patience. And once you start, you might find others holding you to a higher standard. It might seem tough at first, but it’s a golden chance to inspire those around you. And what I know to be true, is action from inspiration is so much better and easier to maintain than action from desperation.
Anything that is going to lead to long-term success is going to come with its fair share of challenges. It is the velvet rope that only allows those who really want to in. Challenges are just an opportunity to grow and learn. With integrity, you might need to balance different interests or deal with the fact that you’re held to a higher standard. But fret not, every challenge is a stepping stone to becoming better.
To overcome the challenges while building or fortifying your integrity we need two simple ideas. Accountability and transparency. It’s about letting others see your decisions, actions, and what drives them. This gives you more feedback for faster course correction. Transparency and accountability also build trust and make sure you’re not fooling yourself. Accountability is about owning up to what you do, whether it’s a win or a learning experience.
Ready for 9 practical steps to bring more integrity into your business?
- Define Your Core Values: What are the non-negotiables for you and your business? Write them down.
- Regular Self-Reflection: Take time to think about if your actions match your values.
- Value Alignment Check: Before making big decisions, ask if they align with your values.
- Transparency in Communication: Be open with your team and customers, it’s refreshing and builds trust.
- Accountability Measures: Set up ways to keep yourself and your team on track.
- Customer Feedback: Listen to what your customers say, it’s gold for improving.
- Mentorship and Coaching: Don’t shy away from seeking guidance to see the bigger picture.
- Lead by Example FIRST: Show integrity through your actions, not just words. Make the words how you teach others in your business by showing them examples of actions you have already taken.
- Celebrate Successes: When you or your team nail it, celebrate it!
Integrity and integration aren’t just fancy words. They are the building blocks of a successful and fulfilling business journey. So, dive in, embrace the uncommon mindset, and see the magic happen in your business!
If you want to connect with me and get away from the social media haze, overloaded emails, and interrupting phone calls, reach out at ConsultAaron.com or browse the support system I offer at CoachOSG.com