The 7 Principles of Business Integrity
By Robert Moment
If you have integrity, nothing else matters. If you don’t
have integrity, nothing else matters. -- Alan K. Simpson
If I were to ask you what attribute is the most influential
in regard to the success of a business, would you know
immediately which one is the most important? Based on my many
years as a business owner and entrepreneur, I have discovered
that at the very top of the list is the distinguishing quality
of integrity. Without integrity at the helm of a company, a
business is usually short-lived. In fact, when business
integrity is present throughout the deepest layers of a
company and not just at its surface, it becomes the heart and
soul of the company’s culture and can mean the difference
between a company that succeeds and a company that falters.
The Internet’s Immeasurable Impact on the Marketplace!
The importance of integrity has always existed among the
business community, but in recent times has been shown as
falling short. It is the Internet’s immeasurable impact on the
global marketplace that is now making the expression of
integrity, reliability and credibility extremely important.
Furthermore, the consequence of global competition means that
customers will simply not consider a company that shows any
less than the highest level of integrity. Since there is a
wealth of competitive companies easily available and
accessible via the Internet, there is in fact no need to
accept anything less than the best.
Where Does Integrity Start?
In an effort to build upon a foundation of integrity, the
first requirement would be to establish excellent rapport with
clients. Based on many years of study, the best and most
practiced method for achieving rapport is by way of
Relationship Marketing. Just as it sounds, Relationship
Marketing is founded on the single and most critical
characteristic, known as “Integrity.” However, achieving true
integrity with clients often leaves many an entrepreneur
bewildered, grasping for techniques and strategies that
guarantee their futures. But integrity is not something that
can be grasped and then simply used. Integrity in its essence
must be so ingrained within the nature of an individual, its
company and the team members, that it remains steadfast no
matter what. Without question, others sense it and find it
The True Nature of Integrity!
Now you are probably asking yourself, what is the true
nature of integrity? There are in fact some very basic
principles that surround the qualities of business integrity.
At its core, integrity begins with a company leader who
understands the qualities of integrity which then filters down
throughout the company into every department and every
member’s approach and attitude.
In recent research performed by the Institute of Business
Ethics- an organization which is among the world’s leaders in
promoting corporate ethical best practices, it was found that
companies displaying a “clear commitment to ethical conduct”
almost invariably outperform companies that do not display
ethical conduct. The Director of the Institute of Business
Ethics, Philippa Foster Black, stated: “Not only is ethical
behavior in the business world the right and principled thing
to do, but it has been proven that ethical behavior pays off
in financial returns.” These findings deserve to be considered
as an important tool for companies striving for long-term
prospects and growth.
The following 7 Principles of Business Integrity are the
basics of integrity and a good starting off place to consider.
By integrating each of these principles within a company
environment, the result will be nothing short of a major
rebirth of the enterprise.
Principle #1: Recognize that customers/clients want to do
business with a company they can trust; when trust is at the
core of a company, it is easy to recognize. Trust defined is
assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth
of a business.
Principle #2: For continuous improvement of a company, the
leader of an organization must be willing to open up to ideas
for betterment. Ask for opinions and feedback from both
customers and team members and your company will continue to
Principle #3: Regardless of the circumstances, do
everything in your power to gain the trust of past customer’s
and clients, particularly if something has gone awry. Do what
you can to reclaim any lost business by honoring all
commitments and obligations.
Principle #4: Re-evaluate all print materials including
small business advertising, brochures and other business
documents making sure they are clear, precise and
professional; most important make sure they do not
misrepresent or misinterpret.
Principle #5: Remain involved in community-related issues
and activities thereby demonstrating that your business is a
responsible community contributor. In other words, stay
Principle #6: Take a hands-on approach in regard to
accounting and record keeping, not only as a means of gaining
a better feel for the progress of your company, but as a
resource for any “questionable “ activities; gaining control
of accounting and record keeping allows you to end any dubious
Principle #7: Treat others with the utmost of respect.
Regardless of differences, positions, titles, ages, or other
types of distinctions, always treat others with professional
respect and courtesy.
While it is most certainly an integral and positive step
for a small business to recognize the significance of
integrity as a tool for achieving its desired outcomes, that
is only the beginning. What must truly be recognized for true
success is that while certain precise universal principles
lead to business integrity, it is in the overall mindset of
the company and the unfailing implementation of these key
elements that an enterprise is truly defined. A small business
that instills a deep-seated theme of integrity within its
strategies and policies will not only be evident among
customers, associates and partners, but its overall influence
cannot help but to result in a profitable, successful company.
By recognizing the value of integrity, and following each of
the aforementioned 7 principles for achieving integrity, your
success cannot be far off.
Robert Moment is a best-selling author, business coach,
strategist and the founder of The Moment Group, a consulting
firm dedicated to helping small businesses win federal
contracts. He just released his new book, It Only Takes a
Moment to Score, and recently unveiled Sell Integrity, a small
business tool that helps you successfully sell your business
idea. Learn more at: