that operate without integrity—by cutting corners, overcharging,
underpaying, or otherwise devaluing clients and employees—don’t last
long. Because of these cheap tricks, they may soar in the short-term by
fooling people into thinking they’re something they’re not, but
eventually, they will fall. And most of them will fall hard. The reason is simple: You can’t sustain a business on a foundation of sand.
To create a business with integrity, start at the beginning. What’s the mission of your business? Think big on the what and get specific on the how. For example, our mission at Round Table Companies is to help
build our clients dreams (the what) through the power of exceptional
strategy, writing and design (the how). Think hard and get creative
about the ways in which you’ll accomplish your mission and, perhaps
most importantly, why this mission matters to you.
Another huge step is to figure out your core values, both as an
individual and a company. Ours at the Table are Integrity, Brilliance,
Joy, Synergy, and Creativity. (Need help determining your core values?
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
for a free workbook.) We work hard to infuse everything we do with our
core values. If a process, a team member, or a client isn’t matching
up, we immediately try to resolve the problem.
Defining your core values and presenting them to the world—on your
website or mission page, for example—immediately ensures that you’re
held accountable to them. If one of your core values is expediency, for
example, you probably won’t let yourself get lazy with returning client
calls. In other words, make sure that everything, from client and
employee relationships to the brochures you make to the speeches you
give, mesh with your core values. In doing this, you will constantly
operate with integrity. And it will show.