Sabiiti Herbert, MBA, BBA (MUK)

This wouldn’t be the first time am writing about this subject and well… trust me there will always be many articles out there on the same subject! That alone amplifies the significance of this principle for anyone who wants to live a flourishing life.

If you’re in business or you intend to start one, please read this insight to the end.

Oxford Dictionaries defines integrity as: “The quality of being honest and having strong moral principles.”

People usually define integrity as doing the right thing even when no one is watching. I know into your black book are those folks you’ve swore never to deal with ever again in matters regarding finances or business.

Doing business without integrity may accord you short term returns but will definitely cripple down your business. If you want to grow your business you need to be true to yourself and to your clientele…being whole and undivided.

When you act with integrity, you’re the same person in all scenarios. You don’t present different faces or tell different stories to different people.
While as acting with integrity is sometimes difficult and can lead to short-term fallout, it’s got long term important benefits that come with it;

1. Reputation: In the business world, reputation is everything. Suppliers need to trust you to pay them for the goods delivered on credit. Investors need to trust that you’ll put their money to good use and deliver a profitable, sustainable business; financial institutions need to trust you to extend credit for your business. For employees, customers, business partners and everyone else you interface with, trust is essential.

Our first major client at Ridgeline was recommended by someone whom I had fallen out with 6 years before Ridgeline was birthed. He had wanted to bribe me to change my opinion in his favor, a move I turned down. Imagine 6 years later he recommended me somewhere where I was needed most.

2. Reliability: Acting with integrity often means producing uncompromised products or service. Even if your product or service is expensive, it will always attract customers. This means that incase of error in your product or service, you take full responsibility and make good. Often times, I receive clients who just come to me because of this virtue of being reliable. Some even deposit a lot of money on my account to find for them real estate properties. Such kind of trust is want you need to grow your business.

Yesterday, I received a phone call from someone who wanted to expose a colleague of ours on social media. This colleague received some money but failed to deliver the service he was paid to deliver. If you lack integrity, your business is likely to collapse especially with the current impact of social media that spreads both negative and positive information faster than wild fire.

3. Peace of Mind: A leader with integrity does not spend time trying to cover up. I’ve seen bosses who are always on tension when an external auditor is in the “house”. If you are an honest CEO, you can even ask for a leave at the time of audit. But some CEOs cut their annual leaves short when external auditors surface.

4. Attracting Employees with integrity: If you are an honest business leader, you will definitely attract employees with similar virtues. This ultimately creates a good company culture where everyone is happy including your customers, suppliers and tax collectors.

5. Credit Access: Financial institutions or even individuals would love to extend credit facility to an honest person.

Have you called a friend for a financial bail before and their response is “I don’t have money” sometimes that response may be genuine but some other times it may be a reflection of past integrity records. Not long ago, I raised a friend to bail me out with UGX 4M, which he did in less than an hour. Chances are high you may not get such quick help if your financial integrity is “wanting”.

Guaranteeing someone who has no integrity is as bad as selling your personal bed. Proverbs 22:26-27
When we have integrity, we gain the trust of our leaders, our colleagues and our team. We’re dependable, and, when we hold ourselves accountable for our actions, we become role models for others to follow.

All of this, in turn, directly impacts our success in life. People who live and work with integrity are more likely to be considered for promotions. Why? Because integrity is a hallmark of ethical leadership – organizations want leaders they can trust, and when you demonstrate integrity, you show everyone you can be trusted. By the way, even dishonest people want to deal with honest ones. How about that…

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