The importance of Character in Business
I normally send off this weekly blog on a Sunday. I have deviated a bit as we are presently on a few days leave.
Sunday saw the culmination of a controversial third test at Newlands. Congratulations to the Proteas for a fantastic victory. We know, however, that it was a different topic that drew the eyes of the cricketing world to the test.
The reason; a terrible lapse in character that resulted in cheating (ball tampering) to try and influence the outcome of the test.
This is not an attempt to attack the leadership team in the Aussie camp, but rather asking what can one learn from this situation?
Firstly, reputation can take a lifetime to build and it can be lost in a day. Early reports in are that some of the national sponsors, like Quantas airlines are rethinking their sponsorship. A very expensive outcome indeed!
Leadership is neither a title nor a position: it’s a choice. Lead where you are planted. Reputation is vital to a company, organisation or individual. Guard yours with diligence.
Secondly, this demeanour was captured and literally beamed around the world. This failure in integrity was fully in the public eye; and the repercussions will ring on way beyond those few seconds on video.
Remember, character is what you are in the dark. A choice to be ethical in and outside of the public eye is essential in demonstrating consistency and strong values.
Finally, when the umpires first questioned Bancroft (the player who actually defaulted), he panicked and lied about what he had done.
Stephen Covey writes about the “emotional bank” and how to ensure more deposits than withdrawals with our interaction with clients, customers and colleagues. One of the 6 ways to make deposits is by…Apologizing Sincerely When We Make a Withdrawal. Here’s what he says about apologising. (If you would like the 2 page brief on the emotional bank, please send in your request to me. I will post it on to you soonest)
Granted, we are all mortal. We make mistakes. That’s part of life and learning. Knowing when you are wrong and admitting your mistakes prevents the wounds that you’ve caused in others from festering and allows them to heal. When appropriate, sincere apology will keep your relationships accounts in the positive, allowing you to maintain the balance that has been created in your application of all of the previous steps.
Building entrepreneurs with strong character