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INTEGRITY: A NECESSARY GOOD IN BUSINESS

Integrity…………. a core value that is listed on every organization’s wall, physical or virtual, yet is one of the scarcest commodities in business relationships today.

Let’s look at the meaning of integrity. The Oxford Learners’ Dictionary defines integrity as “The quality of being honest and having strong moral principles”. The Cambridge Dictionary adds a clause at the end of that …………..”that you refuse to change”.

As an entrepreneur, your reputation is a large part of your business, and your clients, your vendors, your staff should be able to bank your words. You should run your business in such a way that if you ask for a loan extension it will be approved, if you ask a vendor to deliver and be paid later they oblige, if you promise a client a delivery within a certain timeline they won’t need a backup plan,………..you get my drift!

Unfortunately, integrity as an entrepreneur is not suddenly endowed from heaven immediately you start a business, it starts from having integrity as an individual first. Your business is an extension of your person; your values; your ethics. If as an individual you are not known for reliability, honesty, dependability, quality, excellence, morality, etc it won’t suddenly start when you own a business.

The question is now obvious

“As a person, what do I stand for?”

“What are my personal values?”

“By which principles do I live my life?”

Once you have honestly answered those questions, envision your business governed by those same principles, values and ethics you just listed, then answer the following?

  1. Are you satisfied with what you see being the world’s perception of what you have built?
  2. Can what you see compete successfully in the dynamic and competitive business world of today?
  3. Based on what you see, would YOU do business with YOU?

If your answer to these three questions is not a resounding ‘YES’ then it’s time to recreate yourself and build a better/more improved you. “Why?” You might ask.

Because YOU are your BUSINESS and your BUSINESS is YOU! (At least until your business grows bigger than you!).

Opeyemi Komolafe

BI Empowerment Team

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One comment

  1. Very excellent post Yemi. Without integrity in business or personal life, success is only but temporary. It is only a matter of time, the castle will come down to nothing. Very well spoken.

    The area I share a slightly different opinion is separating oneself from the business unit. There are things we are not be wired to do intuitively as entrepreneur, but we should build systems around people and processes to drive desire outcome. And I think I get your point; more like sustaining the same image with your business but some people mix this up and end up running without processes, in such cases, when the founder dies, the business dies.

    Keep up the good work

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