It’s not always easy to admit a mistake, persevere during tough times, or follow through on every promise made. It’s not always comfortable to convey the hard truth or stand up for your beliefs. In the short term, it may not be beneficial to do right by your customers, to put people before profits, or to distance yourself from a questionable relationship. BUT, in the long run, doing the right thing is the clear path to both success and happiness.
Achieve peace of mind. People with character sleep well at night. They take great pride in knowing that their intentions and actions are honorable. People with character also stay true to their beliefs, do right by others, and always take the high ground. (So refreshing.)
Strengthen trust. People with character enjoy meaningful relationships based on openness, honesty, and mutual respect. When you have good moral character, people know that your behavior is reliable, your heart is in the right place, and your word is good.
Build a solid reputation. People with character command a rock-solid reputation. This helps them attract exciting opportunities “like a magnet.”
Reduce anxiety. People with character carry less baggage. They’re comfortable within their own skin, and they accept responsibility for their actions. They never have to play games, waste precious time keeping their stories straight, or invent excuses to cover themselves.
Increase leadership effectiveness. Leaders with character are highly effective. They have no need to pull rank or resort to command and control to get results. Instead, they’re effective because they’re knowledgeable, admired, trusted, and respected. This helps them secure buy-in automatically, without requiring egregious rules or strong oversight designed to force compliance.
Build confidence. People with character don’t worry about embarrassment if their actions are publicly disclosed. This alleviates the need for damage control or the fear of potential disgrace as a result of indiscretions.
Become a positive role model. People with character set the standard for excellence. They live their lives as an open book, teaching others important life lessons through their words and their deeds.
Live a purpose-driven life. People with character live a life they can be proud of. They’re driven to make a difference and to do right by others rather than trying to impress others with extravagance. (Sounds like a wonderful legacy to me.)
Build a strong business. Doing the right thing is good business. Everything else being equal, talented people would rather work for –– and customers would rather buy from –– companies that do right by their people, customers, and communities. While unprincipled business tactics may provide short-term results, but are NOT a long-term strategy.
This is an excerpt from Follow Your Conscience, which will be released November 2014
© 2014 Frank Sonnenberg. All rights reserved.
Frank is an award-winning author. He has written five books and over 300 articles. He was recently named one of “America's Top 100 Thought Leaders” and nominated as one of “America’s Most Influential Small Business Experts.” Frank has served on several boards and has consulted to some of the largest and most respected companies in the world. Additionally, FrankSonnenbergOnline was named among the “Best 21st Century Leadership Blogs.” Frank's latest book is "Follow Your Conscience," November 2014.