Do the Right Thing

“Integrity is what we do; what we say and what we say we do.” Don Galer

I work hard to keep promises. I will go to great lengths to be a person of my word and so it goes with my business. Most of my working life, I have been a person “in a position of trust”. I even have a special clearance that enables others to hire me to work with “children and vulnerable persons”.

Much of the decision to do business with me as a consultant rests on the fundamental question of trust. Do I have the skills and experience to ensure the success of the project? Can I do it in the timeframe and within the budget promised? When there are extenuating circumstances, will I come to the table with fair and reasonable remedies?

I regularly seek out projects that bring together “creative co-conspirators and collaborators”. I vet my associates using a combination of research, business acumen and intuition – a process I have honed over time that generally results in sound business decisions. There are additional questions when I call on a collaborative partner to provide special services or expertise. Can you count on them to deliver with the same integrity? Do I stand behind their work with a seamless promise?

Recently, I found myself squarely facing a situation where my business was called to act on these values. This is what’s known as a “moment of truth”.  A moment where doing the right thing can lead to a deeper level of client relationship or break trust. More importantly to me, there was an issue of integrity in delivering on a promise. I felt certain of what I would do, however, we never know how others will react when the chips are down. The “right thing to do” by all accounts was to resolve the issue and there was a cost associated with this resolution.

At the last minute for reasons unknown and unexplained, my collaborator decided they couldn’t or wouldn’t keep a promise to stand behind their work. The ball was in my court.

In conversation with a trusted advisor, we reasoned through my next move. I already knew I would do the right thing, despite the financial cost to my company. I was really looking for counsel about how to ensure this costly move was a win-win situation for my client and I.

Here is what my advisor told me. It illuminated the way forward from this dark moment. It has stayed with me since and I share it with you now as one of my most sage pieces of wisdom.

Do the right thing. Do it 100% of the time. Anything less and no-one will trust you and you will not be in integrity with yourself.

And so it goes with my business.

Yours in trust, Deborah