Recently, #TrainGate has dominated the news, and I’m sure that Jeremy Corbyn will be the butt of many jokes in Westminster.
Regardless of your political views, one thing that is absolutely clear from this is that leaders need to demonstrate utmost integrity at all times. By this, I mean that they need to not just say the right words at the right times, but live them as well, at all times. As business owners, we are leaders in many ways - of our businesses, our teams, and also in our personal lives. Our families, our friends, and our industry colleagues look towards us; and we have a duty to do the right thing and set the right example at all times.
So how can a business owner truly live with integrity?
Doing the right thing. If something doesn’t feel right, don’t do it. Simple.
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Don’t take unfair advantage of those in difficult situations, don’t try to screw every last penny out of suppliers, don’t abuse your market position, and don’t abuse payment terms. It hurts when it comes back, and as they say - what goes around, comes around.
Be honest and transparent. Whilst there are always things that require commercial sensitivity, be as open and honest as you can be with every stakeholder in your business. Let them know your vision, and how you plan to drive your business forwards.
Follow through. Be a man (or lady) of your word. If you say you are going to do something, do it, and do it quicker and better than expected.
And finally, don’t walk past empty train seats and claim that the train is rammed!
By Carl Reader, author of The Start Up Guide and The Franchise Handbook