Integrity: Doing the Right Thing Matters!

Lewis says, “Integrity is doing the right thing. Even when no one is watching”. An analogous quote by Oprah Winfrey states, “Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody’s going to know whether you did it or not.” In other words, the way I see it – integrity is where our beliefs, words and actions intersect. It is not something that can be faked or disingenuously exhibited in pursuit of accolades or praise from others.

The most succinct way I can describe integrity is that it is equivalent to breathing life into our morals and values. What I know for sure is the act of exemplifying integrity in our lives on a daily basis is a choice. I often say, the choices people make, good or bad, can impact the entire trajectory of their life. Having integrity does not mean a person is perfect by any means. It just shows that some people are more conscientious in making morally sound decisions than others. How wonderful it would be if more people would exercise more selfless choices.

Doing the Right Thing

Over the majority of my career, I have worked in two areas that have the greatest influence on the success or failure of a business, i.e., financial and human resources. Consequently, during my tenure, I have arbitrated numerous cases in which integrity had come into question. While presiding over each case, I always kept the words of wisdom at the forefront of my mind which an esteemed colleague said to me years ago while teaching a workshop on the principles of ethics and integrity. He said, “When it comes to integrity in the workplace, there is no such thing as a bad person. There are only good people who are put in bad situations”.

Depending on your belief system, I guess there could be some truth in that statement. However, I would be hard pressed to agree with this sentiment in its entirety given my belief system about integrity which is, ‘doing the right thing even when no one is watching’. In this statement, there is no judgment of good or bad about the individual. I simply believe a person of integrity who is put in a bad situation will in all likelihood choose to do the right thing. Of course, having integrity does not mean there is no room for error or that a person of integrity is always picture-perfect in every word, thought or deed. However, whether it is at work or play, a person of integrity will most certainly hold true to this value regardless of the situation.

In my profession, my goal is to always be very intentional in leading others by example. When training my staff, I teach them to take pride in their work and to execute their duties as if their every move and decision is subject to audit. This strategy is not intended to intimidate. As a matter of fact, I truly believe that an effective leader leads through motivation, not through intimidation. So, as a leader, I utilize my experience and values to motivate others to do the right thing at all times even if no one is watching. This goes a long way in your career as well as your personal life.

Problems Creates an Innovative Culture

Yet, deliberately creating problems is counterintuitive. We’re wired to avoid problems, even before we try to solve them. Culturally we’re trained to get rid of problems. Businesses are structured to reward managers for their problem-solving skills. At the same time, the keys to the executive suite are not available to managers who only solve problems. Does your organization have structures in place to reward people who create problems? What could happen when you don’t have those structures?

More than a century ago, Henry Ford built an innovative company to solve a problem he created: make it possible for every American household to own an affordable automobile. He solved the problem by creating the assembly line. The people of Ford Motor Company changed the world. Except, the company didn’t look ahead, didn’t pose new problems, didn’t continue innovating. When GM introduced style and color in its cars, Ford lost market share to this new innovator.

In 1979, Sony brilliantly created the personal audio market with the Walkman. The company created a problem: how to develop a device that will allow individuals to privately listen to music anywhere, anytime. Today, however, Apple dominates the digital personal audio market with 78 percent market share in the U.S.

Signs that Your Company is Lacking an Innovative Culture

How can you tell if your company is lacking an innovative culture?

Your CEO spends more than 10% of his/her time solving problems.
Your company is content with the status quo. Being content leaves you vulnerable to competitors who can disrupt your business model. Without risk, innovation becomes happenstance.
Your company’s top line is growing while your bottom line is shrinking. Your products or services have become a commodity. There is nothing to differentiate you from your competitors. This is an ideal time to create a problem for your organization.
Employees are afraid of failure. A learning and innovative culture embraces failure; a project that fails can still be valuable to the company’s larger goals. Employees should be encouraged to create problems themselves.
Management is disconnected from the employees in terms of innovative ideas that move the company forward. Oftentimes, companies make the mistake of going it alone – relying on management and/or research and development in a silo to come up with innovative and creative ideas as opposed to engaging the brainpower of employees throughout the organization.
Your company is successful.

Discover 4 Amazing and Powerful Methods to Improve Your Blog Articles

Here’s how you can make your blog articles more effective and more explosive:

1. Write something that is newsworthy or worthwhile. Keep in mind that your target audience will not possibly waste their time reading something that they already know or something that is not useful to their lives. So, when choosing the topics for your blog articles, make sure that you only go with those ones that your readers will find worth their while.

2. Keep it short. Don’t bore your readers by making your blog post run for more than 1,000 words. As a blogger, it’s crucial that you know how to explain your ideas using 500 words or less. This is because the audience you’re serving have short attention span. When writing your articles, make sure that you stick with the essentials. Trim down your content by eliminating those information that are not really that important.

3. Make it informative. It’s your responsibility to make sure that your readers will walk away feeling well-informed. So, load up your articles with all the types of information that your readers are looking for. I suggest that you help them increase their knowledge on those things that they find interesting and help them solve their problems.

4. Make it entertaining. Right now, there are thousands of blogs in the online arena. If you want online users to choose yours, you better make sure that it’s entertaining. You can do this by making sure that your articles are fun to read. They must contain more than just information. They must also include anecdotes, stories, images, etc.

Create Backlinks, High Search Engine Rankings Free

Categorization: Once you know what it is you want to sell, simply take some time to research your products so you may categorize them correctly and efficiently. The more products you’re selling, the longer it takes. If for any reason you get stuck along the way, simply Google Search the products you’re selling and follow how other, larger companies who are successfully categorizing the same types of products. The better categorized your site is, the easier it will be for your visitors to find what they’re looking for. As a result, you’ll convert more visitors to customers. For example, if one of the types of products you were selling was iPod accessories, you would not want to have 1,000 iPod accessories thrown into one category called iPod Accessories. You need to break it down into sub-categories like this: Armbands, Cases, Speakers, etc. Once you’ve completed the entire categorization process, it’s like learning how to ride a bike, it stays with you. When you’re ready to add more products in the future, you’ll already have achieved the knowledge of knowing exactly where to place all new products, in a timely manner, with little or no confusion. This will help out in the long run.

Pricing: Even if your site was designed to look like a million dollars, you can’t expect to increase your prices by 25% or more and actually think you’re going to get a lot of sales. All shoppers have to do is leave your site and go to the next one, within a matter of seconds, offering lower prices and buy from them. You can never get greedy, ever. Always stay above reasonable when it comes to pricing your products. Remember, although it takes time and effort setting up your site and getting your name out there, at least in the beginning, you’ll be working for free.