Few people in any field ever reach the ultimate top without a strong sense of moral values. The person who does gain a position of prestige or power with a character not completely honest will soon be uncovered for the weakness. Power or authority demands integrity of the highest type, for without it the occupant of the position will sooner or later give in to the temptation to abuse authority. And even in lesser positions, a strong and sincere sense of morality is a requisite for winning and holding respect and confidence of others in the face of the everyday temptations to deal and contrive as being easier alternatives to thinking and planning.

To say that a person can be a little dishonest in business is comparable to saying that a woman can be a little bit pregnant. A man is either honest or he is not; he either has integrity or he does not. In the book “The Leadership Challenge” the authors interviewed over 3,000,000 managers and supervisors to find what worked and honesty was consistently in the top 5 qualities.

Ken Gaebler, CEO of Gaebler Ventures, says that the biggest factor in whether to fund a start up is its management team, do they have the integrity and ethics to do right by their investors, employees and customers.

Legendary entrepreneur Warren Buffett put it this way: “Trust is like the air we breathe. When it’s present, nobody really notices. But when it’s absent, everybody notices.”

Gaebler says the first step is to be the ethical model your self, “if your employees see you cutting corners and consistently working in gray areas, then they are probably going to do the same thing regardless of what your code of ethics says. It’s a monkey-see, monkey-do world we live in and like it or not, you’re the big monkey everyone looks up to in your company.”

If your desire is to work in an atmosphere of high standards, “The Big Enough Company” says you need three kinds of honesty:

  • Honesty with others – It’s about owning a mistake when you mess up and admitting when you are wrong.
  • Honesty with self – Be brutally honest with yourself about what you really want from your job and your business.
  • Honesty about the experience – While you don’t need to publicly sound the alarm each time you have a concern, there is a cost that comes with claiming that everything is all roses. It makes you unreliable to your peers.

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