Integrity: Can Your Company Claim To Have It Without Core Values?
We have discussed the concept of Anomie in a previous article (click here to view). We described it as the state of disorder resulting from the lack of moral or ethical guidelines that could take down societies and smaller environments as business.
Simply put, the way to overcome or avoid these situations is having a set of values that can be used as a map in case of missing the route. And how this works? Stephen R. Covey explains “As we clearly identify our values and proactively organize and execute around those values on a daily basis, we develop self-awareness and independent will by making and keeping meaningful promises and commitments.”
Values are directly linked with the growing of your organization. A few years ago I worked in a well-known power tools company as sales representative and in the interview process I got the “tricky question” posed to me: “ What is the most important: Reaching your goals or how you reach them?”
I answered that the methods to reach goals was the most important. It was worthless to get the number at the end of the month for a pretty picture and a few days later to make returns because of sales improperly closed, so every trip to the office must be a “bullet proof”, closed deal. I was hired and months later my supervisor reminded me of that moment and told me it was the right answer. I was to reach goals, but as I explained myself and pointed out the importance of making quality sales he decided to hire me because I responded with an answer supported by my own personal values. As it turned out, this was essential for the company due to their strong culture and history. I was hired on as a remote employee using company assets such as a car, phone and a little stock of power tools. They needed reliable people. So it’s not casual this company made me sign an “Integrity Clause” as part of the policy documents because this value was a fundamental support for the company’s growth (worldwide).
As we get used to working with a strong base built on values, we know the kind of business we want to develop. This purpose must be in plain sight, transparent for all to see and communicated to your team and the entire organization. This way people can ask themselves two very important questions:
- What are my own inner values?
- Are they aligned to the company values?
As Covey points out: “There’s no way to go for a Win in our own lives if we don’t even know, in a deep sense, what constitutes a Win – what is, in fact, harmonious with our innermost values.” You can’t foster a long-term relationship of any kind if values are not aligned or if you’re not in disposition to add or modify yours. Dissonance will come and later a state of anomie will make expressions as Win/Win sounds empty and meaningless.
Integrity is what allows you to make and fulfill commitments to yourself and others and this is the backbone of long-term business relationships. If our actions are not in the same direction as our words others will notice. They’ll notice and vicious spiral of mistrust will be surrounding your business and upholding your growth.
At Gould Design, Inc., integrity is all we have. It is the cornerstone of our business model. Why else would a company like MiTek recommend its customer to us for truss design? We work remotely and we don’t have a “Big Boss” watching us to see if we are killing time around the break room. We have been entrusted with an exclusivity privilege to use the software, complete with deadlines and the commitment to our clients and coworkers to perform professionally and according the clients standards.
Which are your company values? Is Integrity explicitly one of them? Are they written, or just in your head? Does your team work share those values, or is it all smoke and mirrors?
Source: The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. Stephen R. Covey. Pg. 217.
Javier Dominguez – Design Professional
Gould Design, Inc.