Honesty and Integrity, Even When It’s Inconvenient.

I’ve never worked with someone who didn’t appreciate honesty and integrity from their employer. Few things go further to foster a healthy work environment. And it’s really interesting to see what happens when those two tenets are put to the test. Because, if you’re in business, they will be.

How willing are people to stand by these convictions even when it’s inconvenient, maybe even very inconvenient, such as when it means losing business or not having a paycheck?

Years ago, I watched Bob Carr suffer a massive data breach as a CEO. Mind you, it wasn’t just any business, but one that involved financial transactions as its mainstay. And yet, he bucked the advice of his crisis team and many leaders and chose to announce that breach to his employees, customers and the investment community. It wasn’t easy, but it was the right thing to do. It cost him hundreds of millions in stock that he never fully recovered and almost cost him his company. You could say that was “inconvenient.”

But as Bob put it; “We had a corporate culture at stake.”  This is what it looks like when honesty and integrity are at the core of a company’s culture. When they are most challenged. And when it matters most. Bob knew, as all true leaders do, that once you go down that path, there’s no going back.

The right stuff?

Years ago, I was asked to participate in an “Executive Assessment”.  They flew two highly educated consultants to my office in Tulsa for an evaluation.

I spent several hours answering questions, many of which were completely hypothetical in nature. Weeks later, I received their conclusion; to put it bluntly, they didn’t consider me to be “executive material.” Well, welcome to the club.

They had two main concerns:

1. I didn’t follow rules that I didn’t I agree with

2. I was honest to a detriment. 

Well, Bob didn’t follow the “rules” corporate America told him to follow when it came to the security breach and he was certainly honest to a detriment. To quote one of our Nation’s Founding Fathers:

 

“If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything”.

                                                —Alexander Hamilton

 

I’m proud of the fact that I failed their test, because I passed mine.

 

Find a company with values and a mission that align with your own and you will find it much easier to build a network, pitch to potential customers and close the sale. If this has fueled your fire, we here at Beyond are interested in talking to you. Send us your resume today.