I think we can all agree it’s been a gruelling past 12 months in corporate Australia.
The Hayne Royal Commission has uncovered a number of instances of corporate misconduct, and trust in our banks is at an all-time low.
That’s a shame because there are some very talented and hard-working people throughout corporate Australia.
But when someone in an organisation acts in an unethical way, it ruins the reputation for everyone else.
There’s only so much you can control and while you may not be able to shape your entire company’s reputation, you can certainly shape your own.
And the number-one way to stand out in business these days is to have integrity.
It’s a very powerful trait and if you are a person of integrity, you will be a success in life.
I’ve not met a single person who has integrity and is unsuccessful.
They may have gone through tough times but their character has ensured they rise above whatever life throws at them.
Their integrity has ensured they succeed.
Here’s how you develop it:
1. You take responsibility
Very few people blame themselves when things go wrong.
Can’t afford a house? Blame the baby boomer generation.
Got fired from your job? Blame the boss or your co-workers.
It’s getting harder and harder to find people who take responsibility for what happens in their life, fix whatever the problem is, and move on.
Many people would rather point the finger at those around them than have a good hard look at themselves.
2. You’re true to your word
When it comes to your reputation, your word is everything.
If you don’t follow up on what you say you’re going to do, then people will very quickly realise that you can’t be trusted.
People are very used to being let down these days, as sad as that is, and a lot of people don’t follow through.
But if you develop a reputation for doing what you say you’ll do, then you’ll be very successful in whatever you commit to.
3. Be courteous
This one is a no-brainer, but people often need to be reminded to treat others like they would like to be treated.
Don’t be rude to wait staff or people who rely on you.
Only people with weak characters do this.
People who work in the service industries tell me that they always remember those who were pleasant and didn’t have to be.
They never forget someone who is rude to them either.
Remember: you’re never more powerful or important than the people who are serving you.
4. You give back
Part of having integrity is realising that you are lucky.
Luck is not what made you successful, of course, but being born into a wealthy country gave you a great start in life.
Once you feel gratitude, then it’s natural to want to give back.
People with integrity will find a way to help those less fortunate than them or to mentor the next generation coming behind them.
Giving back, or paying it forward as it’s fashionably known these days, is a big component of having integrity.
But you can’t force it any more than the other traits I’ve listed above.
Having integrity is not a mission statement or something that can be created in a company memo.
To have integrity, you need to value something more than yourself.
And that’s the people around you.
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