If you do not stand for something, you will fall for anything.
We have all heard it. The ends justify the means. In the cutthroat world of business it is dog eat dog; therefore, anything goes. Competition is fierce and longevity waning. If a company wants to win, it must create trust within the organization both with its workers as well as externally with its customers.
Businesses know that success comes and goes, but integrity stays forever. Anyone who has appreciated a successful career knows the foundation of that success was and is integrity. Doing what is right, regardless of who is watching, builds trust and authenticity. It takes years to build this trust, but it only takes one misstep to erase that trust. Keeping this truth in the forefront of our business design helps us withstand and overcome the competition and is a non-negotiable!
Integrity cannot be monetized but it is integral to the infrastructure of the business. Integrity creates trust which results in profits. Consistency is important so the customers do not experience external impressions that are the antithesis of the internal reality. A company with integrity owns every decision and takes responsibility for what goes on. It has a policy of walking its talk so a defensive strategy is not part of the equation. Nothing makes a company look weaker than when it makes excuses or denies knowledge. How can any consumer trust a company that just does not know?
Businesses are built on relationships. Internally businesses want to create successful teams; therefore, teams members will want to make sure they can trust the others. Integrity is key to that. Members need to walk their talk and tell the truth, even if it is ugly. Denying the truth to make a boss happy only erodes the team’s ability to work together, eventually leading to its demise. This type of behavior stirs the pot with negativity, creating what the witches in Macbeth called “toil and trouble”.
Betrayal has become a part of the landscape of our times, with Ponzi schemes, subprime mortgage scams and online weekend packages for concerts that never take place. In today’s business world, trust is hard won. With the economy still in recovery, people will only do business with a company they know, like and trust. The company that understands integrity supersedes product or service is the one that will make it to the top.
If you have been in the business world for a while, most likely you have been in that situation where we have been asked to compromise your moral integrity for the sake of the company. Discomfort does not come close to how it feels, squeezed between a job that supports your family and the ethics of a company that differ from your own.
Each year, Forbes puts out a list of the most ethical companies. These companies are chosen based on criteria such as the company’s ethics and compliance programs, corporate citizenship and responsibility, and their internal ethics culture. For example, John Deere makes the list annually because it has a quality product that it stands behind, and it provides what it says it will provide. In the more recent arena of employee care, Deere works to understand its employees, offers career development, and give rewards and recognition, while keeping the career decisions and development choices in the hands of the employee.
Though a smaller company than others, Mitchell Aircraft is a company known for its integrity. At Mitchell, we do not rest on our laurels but continue to work on building trust with our customers. One of our company’s guide phrases “is if you take care of the customers, they will take care of you.” Our employees want to work here and they are committed to maintaining the reputation we have built over our 30 years in business. Whether it is our inventory management division or our repair administration, our departments pride themselves on being the best they can be. Here at Mitchell, we are committed to creating a “hassle free environment” for our customers by being the supplier they can count on, with a staff that listens to their needs, understands their business and finds the most efficient and cost effective solution for their requirements.
It is said, you can fool some of the people all the time but you cannot fool all of the people all the time. Building a business on facades that have no foundation is a recipe for disaster. Soon the customer will catch on. Building a business on integrity, owning decisions and taking responsibility are the behaviors that define successful companies. For 30 years, Mitchell Aircraft has stood tall and made integrity our primary driver and the foundation of all that we do.
One for the truest tests of integrity is its blunt refusal to be compromised.