Ethics and/or Integrity – A Sustainable and Profitable Business Model? Depends.

Defining ethics, “as rules and regulations that have been formed which allow an individual to work in accordance to moral principles,” and integrity, “as the quality of being honest and fair,”; which is the most sustainable, assuming a lasting moral principle has positive impact on the success of our business?  

It depends. It depends on how we define and apply integrity.  If our benchmark for integrity is The Golden Rule – the ethic of reciprocity; do for someone else what we want them to do for us; integrity as a mode of doing business has some great implications:

  • We want what we say to have weight and meaning.  
  • We want a good reputation and the trust of our peers.
  • However, the most meaningful reason to live by The Golden Rule is that we realize a level of personal freedom we can’t achieve any other way.   Worrying about “getting caught or discovered” for some indiscretion is eliminated.  We are motivated to be fair, honest, considerate and empathetic because is what we expect from others.   Stated simply, we live with a clear conscience.

Combining integrity with a lofty system of ethics continues to prove to be a very successful and profitable way of doing business… the alternative can be really painful.