Principle 2 – Keep Your Promises, Tell the Truth, Be Honest in All Things

Principle 2 – Promises are to be kept; keep your word, tell the truth, be honest in all things (dishonesty cannot be tolerated within the company or in outside relationships, as it is ultimately destructive)

There are a couple of parts to this belief:  First is keeping promises.  Again, a principle that seems easy enough, but in reality it requires discipline to keep promises.  If you do not intend to do something, do not promise to do it.  In today’s busy work environments, a great deal of discernment is required to sort out plans.  Another part of this discipline is to work as hard as you can to keep your promise.  It may not be easy, but it is essential to living by this principle.  Often, it is the way you keep your promises that brings glory to God.

The second part is simply being honest in all things.  Honesty is an imperative part of any successful business.  There is only one True North on a compass; just like there is only one measure of honesty.  Some people only view honesty in business when it comes to accounting (and it definitely needs to be there), but it is an essential part of all business.

Real life:  Last year, we discovered that we had not properly followed some conformity procedures that we are required to follow in a market where we sell our product, and we had to figure out a plan of action to remedy this error and be able to continue to sell into this market.  The route of being completely honest and forthright with this governing body was our only choice.  Yes, we had to “face the music” by some loss of business, a fine and the embarrassment of telling our distributor for that market that we had made a mistake that was going to cost both of us.  But, we believe that the Lord has protected us in this exercise.  It has not been an easy experience, but it has made us a stronger company by helping us develop better conformity procedures and strengthening this part of our business.  Not only were we honest with the outside agency, we were also honest with ourselves–we needed help in this area, so we added a conformity engineer to our staff.  Had we not been honest in this process, we believe it could have been much more destructive to our business.

Although there are major events in business that focus on honesty, the truth is that it really is a minute-by-minute challenge.  Be honest in ALL things (not just the big things).  One other note here: To effectively practice this principle, you also need to do your best with details.  Forgetting something is not a sin, but not giving full effort when it comes to the details of a situation (when you have the capacity to do so) is not honest.

Scriptural Root to the Principle:  There are a number of examples throughout the Bible where honesty is tested and God’s people either pass or fail (Annanias and Sapphira, David, and Samuel), but one of the most vivid is the story of Achan in the book of Joshua.  When Achan withheld an ingot of gold, a few pieces of silver and a garment after being instructed to take nothing, it not only cost the Israelites a battle (and a number of lives), but it also cost Achan and his family their lives.  Christians must believe and follow the clear instructions from Scripture about honesty–even in business

Comments:

EJI
March 8th, 2011 at 5:23 pm

Dishonesty is very destructive. In my line of work, I have found that the technical systems we work within are designed to provide checks and balances at both the micro and macro level. But at the same time, each member of our team has a lot of responsibility to self-regulate his/her own processes. There was a point when a former co-worker was less than honest in the way she managed her responsibilities. She eventually left the organization, and when her “dishonesty” was discovered, the whole team was affected. It was a huge wake up call for everyone. Although we had hurdles to overcome in the process, the team dynamics improved because we recognized that honesty is essential to the success of our operations. We also re-shaped some of our technical systems in order to ensure that this kind of situation would not happen again.

This post is a great reminder to be honest in everything we do. We risk a lot when we allow our pride to keep us from being honest with ourselves and the people around us.

Our society would benefit from leaders in the home, church, and business that are open and honest, and willing to deal with “real life” mistakes in the same way. What a powerful example to set for this generation!

123 Comments

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  1. Tim McTavish says:

    As you have pointed out, being honest is not simply owning up to a mistake when it is brought to our attention. Honesty requires that we proactively represent Truth in all that we do.
    One way in which I’ve seen honesty demonstrated is through the practice of Open Book Management – essentially sharing all the financial details of your business with your employees. Done right, it requires ongoing education and training on what the numbers mean, and it helps to show the employee where they fit in the grand scheme. Like most children who think their parents are rich if they make more than $20 per month, most employees are shocked to learn about the true expenses of an organization. Open Book Management goes a long way toward helping them realize that they aren’t loading the owner’s pockets, and they soon learn to appreciate the owner’s frugality on controlling expenses. Alternatively, if you are absconding with too much of the company’s profits, and you aren’t willing to be accountable to your own employees, then, are you really being honest? Transparency helps keep matters in perspective.
    Employees will respect your vulnerability, keep matters confidential, and afford you the high wages for taking the risks and running an effective business. Given that our lives should be "open books," why not let our businesses be the same?

  2. MD says:

    Honesty is the foundation of trust. Trust is pivotal to all relationships. If coworkers don’t trust one another, they will fight, withold resources from one another, or just generally be less productive. If employees don’t trust thier leaders they could do anything from simply ignore directives to actively work to subvert the leader. If managers don’t trust their employees they will often micromanage or even persecute them. If shareholders don’t trust the board or the leadership of an organization they will likely withdraw their support and coud place an organization in financial crisis. Finally, if customers don’t trust a company they will likely not buy, or at least buy less wilingly and less frequently. Therefore I agree that truth and honesty are critical to doing business.

    If leaders expect excellence from their followers they must exhibit excellence. They need to set the standard and display their integrity so that they may build trust with those they lead. I agree also that honesty must happen in all things, not just the big ones. If a leader allows for dishonesty in small things, people will recognize that and will lose trust in that leader. Be honest, be consistent, and be dilligent. If leaders are these three things they have the tools to build great teams.

  3. 0125931 says:

    During the last session of my Leadership class we were discussing Social Interventions and the ethical issues surrounding any planned change efforts (Bermont, 1978). I concluded on my threaded discussion post that I felt most Social Intervention programs are implemented with a goal to better society as a whole. However, if the program is not carefully written, which would probably make it so restrictive it could never be implemented as originally intended, it could be misused. I’m sure we will all agree that the unethical (DISHONEST) behavior. And, as long as there are leaders, managers and supervisors out there that fail to maintain faith and good strong ethical business principles, every program whether developed as a Social intervention or not will be at risk to corruption and mismanagement. Below is an essay I found on-line that further emphasizes my concern about leaders and managers misuse of their power/position. How can it be prevented? I feel we need to start emphasizing strong ethical values in the schools, as early as elementary. Let’s start holding our children accountable for their actions, no matter what the age, and stop making excuses for them. This will help develop a stronger more ethical and honest future generation.
    Santiago Paz, co-manager of CEPICAFE and manager of Norandino cooperative in Piura, Peru, wrote an insightful essay about the current state of Fair Trade Certified coffee from a producer perspective. Seeing a crisis now in world coffee markets, he calls for the “Fair Trade Certified” system to build stronger producer organizations and strengthen benefits for producers.
    He reports that the number of Fair Trade coffee cooperatives in Peru has grown 66% over the last 5 years, while the exported volume of those co-ops has grown by only 4%. That would suggest more competition, and little growth, for each co-op. Moreover, he calculates that as much as 30-50% of qualifying coffee is not generating Fair Trade Certified benefits for producers.
    A further challenge is that the Fair Trade Certified system has not allowed producer co-ops to renegotiate a higher price with foreign importers when world prices rise dramatically. Co-ops end up buying from farmer members at high current prices and selling to foreign importers at low, contract prices set months earlier.
    When co-ops lose money on price differentials, and receive less beneficial social premiums set by FLO, they sometimes default on contracts, remove leaders from their positions, and face FLO suspension proceedings, for which co-ops pay further monetary costs.
    Mr. Paz regrets that large corporations have gained power in FLO to lower standards and prices. He wonders if co-ops should leave the FLO system, or advocate from within it.

  4. Christine says:

    No matter what business you are working for and in what situation, honestly and integrity is vital to uphold. In previous positions, that was one thing that my staff knew was a constant with me. I would be honest with them and they could confide in my. Decisions were made with integrity and thought.

    Just this week at work, I was rated lower on an evaluation because I did not do a step in my procedures that was, in my opinion, not honest and lacked integrity. When in the room with the evaluating staff, I made my thoughts on the subject known and told them that I would take a hit on my evaluation if it meant that I stayed honest. The person doing the evaluation was impressed by that and was going to bring up the need to address that step in the process.

    Several people had already quit because of being docked points for not doing the dishonest portion of the job. Hopefully, the managers above will consider this and change how things should be performed. When the staff is having issues with the integrity and honesty of the work environment, those leading need to take a hard look at the issue.

  5. MikeR says:

    This principle is well demonstrated in the life of an Integral Leader.

    The Integral Leader is defined as a leader who:
    1) Sees people as God does – created in His Image: “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:27),
    2) Loves people as God does – unconditionally: “Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another” (1John 4:11), and
    3) Strives for people to reach their maximum potential by encouraging them to reach that potential: “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10).

    The Integral Leader demonstrates in action how he or she views those with whom they interact. Keeping one’s promises, telling the truth, and being honest in all things is a living demonstration of standing fast in these truths.

    The Integral Leader has a high commitment to keep his or her promises, even when it is not convenient, as illustrated in Psalm 15:4 “who keeps his oath even when it hurts” (NIV). A leader who walks in this manner demonstrates his or her total commitment to integrity in their character.

    The Integral Leader also has a high perspective when he or she fails. When the leader fails, they fall short of their commitment to the other person and to God. In the words of the prodigal son, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you” (Luke 15:21, ESV). “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed” (James 5:16).

    Not only should the leader’s interaction be truthful, it should also be to the benefit of others in the spirit of Ephesians 4:29: “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”

    The level of integrity of the leader is to always be honest and edifying, which takes self-discipline, humility, and practice.

  6. Trisha E. says:

    As a Christian who prides myself on Biblical priniciples, I believe we should be honest in every action we do, in the work environment and outside of it. It won’t always be easy and there will be challenges as that is a promise from God. Going through the challenges and maintaining one’s honesty only makes us stronger and able to stand our honest ground easier in future situations. I think too many times we see businesses and organizations comprosing their mission, visions, and values when they make some of the decisions that are dishonest. It usually takes one small dishonesty (knowlingly misfiguring the books, etc) and the downward spiral begins. An example like Enron clearly shows how one small fib can lead too much bigger problems. Using God and prayer to gain wisdom, when faced with those decisions He will lead you the right direction, but you have to make the choice and take action to follow. I know I want to represent Him the best I can and being honest in ALL I do is a sure way to do that.

  7. EJI says:

    I know I have already commented on this post, but the other day I came across a quote from one of our reading assignments that really stuck with me. In The Leader of the Future 2, Darlyne Bailey notes that "our lives are the sum reflection of the hundreds of small choices we make everyday". Hundreds of small choices, not just the big ones. These words caused me to stop and take inventory of my actions and ask myself if I am really taking every chance to make the right decision? This is such a simple concept but a powerful reminder to live by this principle of keeping promises, telling the truth, and being honest in everything we do–because in the end our choices reflect our character and values. More importantly, when people see you, do they see a reflection of Jesus Christ? What does your reflection reveal?

  8. MAM says:

    [quote][/quote]

    It was a time that a person word meant everything and their word was all that you needed to establish an agreement. Today a person word doesn’t mean too much, because the integerity of a person word is not what it used to be. Some people do not stand behind their word even when it is written down on a legal document.

  9. Michael V says:

    I enjoy being honest. It’s not hard for me. I have always liked Mark Twain’s comment, "If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything." It only took me one lesson of NOT doing that when I was five to learn it very well. I lied about doing something bad at school. My parents found out anyway and I kept on going down the lying road. My parents played along until I was so far deep (and being 5 years old) I ended up falling on my face. I was embarassed, more than anything else that I had kept on going when, in hindsight, it was obvious that my parents knew the whole time I was lying. From then on, I have played it mostly very straight. Plus, when you tell the truth, you know it can’t go very wrong; and if it does, it’s okay because at least you told the truth.

    Another point is keeping our word. In my current position a lot of people look up to me. In fact more people look up to me, than look down at me, so that puts me in an important place. I set a lot of meetings. I make a lot of decisions. I plan for the future. In fact, my job right now is standing up a new organization within a much larger one. I am doing everything you could imagine with personnel and organization decisions, including picking out the decorative fake trees and the conference room televisions. Needless to say, I have a lot of power, and a lot of people watching me. I don’t like saying "maybe" so I’ve stuck very close to a strong YES and a strong NO. That way, I don’t end up letting people down or being viewed as wishy-washy. As a leader, my people need to trust me, so I don’t give them an easy way of deciding I’m untrustworthy. My YES is a YES and my NO is a NO. Maybe is saved for the rare occasion!

    Overall, it’s biblical. I don’t want to lie. I don’t do it on purpose. I’d rather make a mistake then lie and try to work around it. I rely on God to lead the way and redeem the fruit of my honesty.

  10. Melissa F. says:

    Dishonesty is definitely destructive, and can also threaten a person’s credibility as well. In past experiences, I have witnessed relationships and reputations ruined as a result of dishonesty. A relationship is no longer the same once the trust has been compromised. In a real life example, I can remember admiring one of the managers at a previous company I worked for. She was a younger woman in her late twenties, and had started in an entry level position and was later promoted to a managerial position.

    I admired her because I felt she was a hard worker, and exuded a very positive personality whenever I would encounter her. She seemed like the kind of person I would want as a mentor. However, about two years after I was employed there, I discovered that she was let go for theft. I was saddened when I heard what happened to this manager. And I became more aware of my own actions. This is why it is so important to strive for honesty, as you never know who is watching you. It is so important to be mindful of the example you are setting to others.

  11. Mike R. says:

    The company I work for has recently endured the backlash of having one of its senior engineers indicted on fraud and money laundering charges (into the millions of dollars), amongst others.

    This type of incident is embarrassing and devastating to any company trying to compete in this business environment. The criminal actions of one employee can give the entire organization a bad name and cost millions in terms of current and future business because of the lack of trust and a tarnished reputation.

    To his credit, and company-wide approval from employees, our CEO wrote a check to reimburse the client 100% of the money that was lost because of this employee. This money was taken from an account which is reserved for employee benefits, such as, bonuses, tuition reimbursement, etc. Instead of a negative response from its employees, most felt the overwhelming need to make things right and attempt to restore our good name by this demonstration of our commitment to our corporate code of ethics.

    Dishonesty not only hurts the individual employee, but everyone in the entire organization suffers.

  12. Keechia Merriweather says:

    While this principle seems so straight forward it is easy to see in the business world why this has been called out. The concept of "Keep Your Promises, Tell the Truth, Be Honest in All Things" is something that has been in a way lost in today’s society. Not that many people would stand up and say otherwise, there are a million little ways that broken promises and dishonesty creep into today’s business world. I work in a highly regulated area of my organization and have participated in many audits. One of the things that I thought of when reading within the principle about lying by omission, was these audits. Before each one we have a meeting with the people who will be interviewed. Many times these individuals are ones who have not been involved in the process before and we meet with them to give them an idea of what to expect. One of our previous leaders would always instruct them to "tell the truth, but don’t disclose information they are not asking for". This statement always made me uncomfortable because it was lying by omission. Since this leader has left, we still have these meetings but instruct the participants to be completely honest, we can’t fix what’s broken unless we know it’s broken. This philosophy is one that I think can never lead you astray. There may be adverse outcomes or unaticipated consequences, but overall it’s the right way to do business.

    Keechia

  13. Jake says:

    I think this is the only way to live life. I have seen too many people only be honest when they feel like it. This country was founded on people who lived by thier word, a hand shake was all it took and people knew it would happen. It is sad to see what has to be done anymore to make sure that things get done properly. Personally, I never make promises because I can’t always keep them. This way I don’t say that I am going to do something and then not be able to come through.

    Jake W.

  14. A Wade Feaster says:

    After reading your blog it reminded me of one thing about honesty that we as a people tend to forget. We are honest in telling those around us what we intend to do and then try to do it but, it is when we fail in keeping a promise that honesty really comes in to play. I cannot tell you the number of times I had to say that I made a mistake and I am sorry and suffer the consequences. After each time though the truth has set me free, so to speak. Each costumer I have forgotten to do something for or just did not do was much more forgiving when I just said sorry and did not make an excuse. It is the excuse that gets us into trouble when it comes to honesty. Even when there is a valid reason it can sound like a person is trying to just not get in trouble. Honesty that is followed all the way through, especially when we fail will bring its own reward in the end.

    Failure is seen as a bad thing in our world to today, but in reality it is the best teaching tool. Weather it is honest or just not making a promise we cannot keep failure can teach us if we are willing to learn from it. Do not lie to cover up a failure it only makes it worse and gets you in more trouble. Remember what is said in Proverbs 30:7-8 "Two things I ask of you, O Lord; do not refuse me before I die: Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread." (New Living Translation) and you will do well and be happy. Thanks for reading.

    Wade Feaster

  15. Melissa Wheeler says:

    Keep your promises…

    I appreciate the comments on the importance of not only being honest with other but also with yourself. People want to do a good job at work and as uncomfortable as it is, we make mistakes then we have to share the bad news. In a previous course, I learned that sharing the good news should be just as factual as sharing the bad news and covering all the necessary details. Oustanding closing, "I’d rather make a mistake then lie."

    Thanks for sharing,
    Melissa

  16. Mike R. says:

    The company I currently work with is undergoing the pain of a breech in trust as the result of the dishonest actions of a fellow employee. A senior engineer has been indicted and has pleaded guilty to fraud and money laundering to the tune of several million dollars.

    This type of incident can be devastating to any company especially one that so heavily relies on credibility such as business consulting. Clients always want to feel like they are spending their hard earned dollars and getting some sort of value. All of that is compromised when selfish actions such as these are identified.

    In an effort to restore our credibility and trust with our current and future clients, our CEO wrote a check to cover 100% of the damage to the client that was the victim of this dishonest employee. With complete support from the company’s employees, this money was taken from the corporate fund that would normally go to employee benefits and bonuses. Most of us understand the gravity of the nature of this crime and the serious implications to future business. Our company maintains a high ethical standard for its employees and stands behind our commitment to our customers.

    As for the dishonest employee, I fear that he has compromised much more than just his job and freedom. "Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much” (Luke 16:10).

  17. 0306684 says:

    I am in the Air Force, and my duty position empowers me with the responsibility of caring for the health, morale, and welfare of my enlisted members. My superiors and subordinates know I am looking out for their best interests, so they trust me.

    When I arrive at a new unit, it can take up to 6 months before my personnel really start trusting me with their personal issues and careers. One thing that can speed up this “trust” timeline is my staying true to the promises and commitments I make. However, what can delay the “trust” timeline even longer is if I break my promises and or lie about the situation.

    I tell my troops right up front that I will always be honest with them, and will not sugarcoat the situation. Because, if I lie or withhold any information from them then they will never trust me again. Even if they do decide to trust me again, it will take a long time for me to earn that trust back. I tell my personnel that my “contract” with them goes both ways, meaning they had better not lie to me either.

    I have accidentally made mistakes and broke promises with my troops in the past, but I owned up to the mistakes and apologized. It takes a big person to admit they made a mistake, and I am getting bigger every day, for I am not perfect. However, people will be more forgiving of a broken promise, or a lie, if the truth is told right away versus letting it fester. We are all “works in progress”.
    v/r,
    Roderick

    • kimberly mayton says:

      People may die with secrets. Companies do not. There are too many people involved. Dishonesty in any area of life takes it toll on a person’s health as well as a business’ health.I believe the truth usually reveals itself. Did anyone really believe Bill Clinton?

  18. Tammy says:

    I have always believed that honesty is the best policy. Being transparent to others, both inside and outside the business is the best way to operate as there is simply nothing to hide. This also helps build credibility as a leader. People will follow someone who is transparent, is honest, and keeps their word. People can trust that things will get done.

    Facing the music is never easy. Few like admitting they are wrong, or have done something wrong. This company did a tremendously difficult thing by admitting that they did something wrong, and then rectifying it. They lost a little at first, but will gain much in the end for their efforts. In their market, word will get out about how they handled the situation, and they will see more growth because of it!

  19. Robin Francis says:

    Thank you for sharing this blog. Being trustworthy is not the norm it seems, in many organizations. Honesty and integrity are admired, but passion and drive to succeed can be looked favorably upon, even through dishonesty just to make more money.

    Once trust is broken, it takes so much to earn it back (if it can ever be earned back). Dishonest companies may seem like winners at the beginning, but they often end up failing because of it.

    God rewards honesty and trustworthiness in us. When we make each moment a decision to work with integrity, He will bless us.

  20. Brandon says:

    God gave me this about nine years ago, and I will have to say it has not always been easy to live by… He entitled; Two peas in a pod.

    Meaning; never practice personal priority over principle. Ok I do recognize there are four words that start with the letter “P” but there are two principles that He pointed out for me to live by.

    Over the last nine years or so, this has been a very difficult task. Through many personal triumphs and tragedies, I have learned to live by this rule.

    Many times I have found myself repenting to a stranger in Wal-mart, or a brother or sister in Christ, at the work place, the classroom, instructors and yes even to a platoon of battle hardened infantryman. I do not really understand this thing called two peas in a pod, but I guess it’s the Lord’s way of teaching me to be transparent in all things. Lord knows it has been emotionally freeing at many times, but humiliating to my flesh, or selfish ambitions. I hope by God’s grace somewhere deep inside He is developing the character of Christ deep within me.

    Promises can fit into this looking glass, because it affords the opportunity to lay aside what we currently want or feel, and over time transforms us to be men and women of our word.

    Honesty in much the same manner can be difficult at times. But if we are to be serious with our positions in life (believers, fathers, mothers, CEO’s, managers, students, employees, business owners, etc…) than we have to be honest, regardless of the challenge. Refer back to the first paragraph and meditate on “triumphs and tragedies”… It was not mentioned as a cliché but as a real point of reference within our souls. For only God and ourselves know the truth of our souls…

    In closing “Truth” we have to remember is not relative to our experiences, truth is God’s word period. If we seek Him for answers to our issues in life, we will find them in His word.

    In His Righteous Grip,
    Brandon

  21. Ryan says:

    I wish more was said about keeping your promises. It is more than just keeping a promise, it is people saying what the mean and meaning what they say. My career requires me to be blunt and forthcoming. This requires saying what I mean. This absolutely requires one to be realistic about their expectations and responsibilities. Along with honesty, absolute honesty is a must. Honesty is a good policy, but honesty 100% of the time is a hard thing to do for many people and many organizations. This is the best policy and will many times be detrimental to the company and its business relationships but in the end, it will always have a better image by walking the talk.

  22. BPM says:

    In years past there have been great examples of leaders walking the walk, but also of those who talk the talk.The problem is that there is a thick line that separates the two. Leaders are hired to lead a company and its people to success while maintaining an ethical character and example to their people who follow. The problem is in times of crisis, one’s true self emerges to display their true “make-up”. At this point the followers discover where the leader’s heart truly is; fighting for the success of the company or fighting for their entitlement of millions to more than make do after the departure of a failed attempt at saving the company.

    The concept of leadership keeping their promises, telling the truth, and being honest in all things is few and far between. Corporate scandals, one after the next, have been appearing all over. Although there are some excellent leaders in corporate America, how often are the “good guys” really keeping their promises?

    Examining the recent downfall of Bank of America, we can determine that poor decision making was the basis of their collapse. As cited by “The Economist” 2010, “Ken Lewis made Bank of America swallow the toxic Merrill Lynch, but still pocketed $125m when he left last year” (The Economist, 2010). Executives are being paid off for sinking a company and then asked to leave. Is this a matter of fairness or ridiculous antics due to the politically correct imposed society that has been created? Let’s not spare feelings here. Ken Lewis did not think about the effects of purchasing two major companies back to back that carried products out of the norm for Bank of America-investing and home loans. Leaving a company with $125 million after not one, but two poor decsions that cost the company millions, loss of jobs and a bad reputation, is not honest and to then pocket additional funds while others are unemployed, wondering how they are going to support their families. Where is the honesty and promise in that?

    Jesus is a great example of this concept of walking the walk and talking the talk. I find this type of leadership to be that of servantship. Individuals want to naturally follow servant leaders- those who care about people, who have good hearts, who give back, those who walk with them. A servant leader is considered a hero. These are the people winning Nobel Peace Prizes and recognized for the good that they have contributed to society. It is the great leaders of our time that have helped make the world a better place. Corruption and greed only leads the world into a black hole; a society of recessions and great depressions. I think the world has had enough of that!

    With the many examples of individuals being caught for corporate scandals, gambling the companies money for personal gain, and carelessly, less than strategic decisions, its no wonder we are in the place we are in today. Will more leaders eventually rise up to make a differnce and actually display integrity and moral decision making for the concern of the whole company (including its people) and not just profits and gains? I hope so. We are all getting tired of being told what to do and lead down paths of destruction when we, as employees, can predict that the decisions being made are not going to result in a good outcome. I beleive that more and more individuals will step up, those exact floor leaders, cashiers, and middle management executives will want to see a difference. It is through these times that people become fighters. That fight is what leads to success and betterment.

  23. 0411565 says:

    The idea of a leader making personal sacrifices to create gain for an organization is a refreshing one. In the most visible cases over the past decade, we have not seen leaders who have been willing to make sacrifices in order to grow. We have seen more cases (such as Enron, Lehman Brothers, etc.) where leaders have tried to increase personal gain rather than make personal sacrifices. These situations have sadly led to major distrust of the corporate world in general. The leaders of these organizations have taken the ‘golden parachute’ leadership model which sometimes focuses on quick success and manipulative growth at anyone’s expense.

    I think the question that we need to ask ourselves is if God’s calling is more important to us than our entitlement to success. The way we should be answering this question is “Yes!”, but sometimes we slip back into the worldly sin of entitlement. Servant leadership is absolutely a healthier and more biblical model of leadership than the ‘golden parachute’ model. A good friend of mine, Todd, CFO/COO of Kingdom Building Ministries in Aurora, serves as a great example of servant leadership. Todd served many years as CEO of Lifestyle Family Fitness, growing the organization over 1000% during his time with the company. Todd lived a very comfortable life on a corporate executive salary, but he refused to let any salary or possessions get in the way of what God wanted. When the opportunity came for Todd to go into ministry, he could have easily declined, but he valued God’s will more than any earthly possessions. KBM employees see what Todd has sacrificed to work for God’s Kingdom, and they are now much more likely to give everything they can to the cause. Servant leadership creates leaders who others desire to follow.

  24. Allison says:

    Keep your promises, Tell the truth, and Be honest in all things:

    When I think about this statement – “keep your promises”, I first recognize that we are human (of sinful natures) and make mistakes frequently. However, knowing this the Lord commands us to keep our promises. Not only the promises we make to Him, but also the promises we make to ourselves and to others. In Numbers 30:1-2 (ESV) Moses spoke to the heads of the tribes of the people of Israel, saying, “This is what the Lord has commanded. If a man vows a vow to the Lord, or swears an oath to bind himself by a pledge, he shall not break his word. He shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth.”

    I believe that honesty, trustworthiness and promise keeping are becoming less common in society today. I consider the stories my grandfather and great-grandfather told me of the past. How being a man of courage and trust were more important than the money or possessions you had to show. That if you said anything, it was therefore a promise. That you were to “make-good” on your word, before considering any other tasks or selfish desires. I believe that people were more wise then, in the words they spoke and more careful in the way they acted because of this. Nowadays, when someone says something, we question the validity, reliability and honesty of their words and actions. I hear too often, children asking their parents if they promise (or visa-versa). The reason for this is, most likely, is because the child (or parent) does not trust that they will make-good on what they have said. Too often parents promise and under-deliver. This can be true of business partners, bosses and leaders of this world as well. What happened, what changed, to make “our words/vows/promises” to be taken so lightly, and said without full intention of acting upon them? It is unfortunate that we have to live this way; always second guessing whether someone’s word/promise is going to be fulfilled or not.

    Eventually, once we are use to questioning one’s word, promises, truthfulness and honesty, we begin to lack trust and hope. Without trust, it is easy to lack faith and hope. This is when corruption, deceit and evil can take over our hearts, minds and action. We need to recognize the direct connection of honesty and trust. We are called to be a light in this world, shinning with honesty, truth and love, for all to see, with the glory in His name. Therefore, we should be mindful, at the beginning of each day and prayerful in our ability to keep our promises, tell the truth, and be honest in all things. It may not be easy to do, but it sure is worth every effort!

  25. Michael says:

    I understand the importance of honesty, but just one point of a bigger issue which is ethical behavior. While unethical behavior has certainly caused issues in the business field in the last decade, I believe the use is not limited to the business market. I think the real question we should be asking is how as a Christians can we slow down or reverse the moral decay we see happing in society today? Maybe the answer is to act locally by being a light in work place, but I think we need to be clear that this problem is much larger than dishonesty in the work place. If a person is still living in their sin, they will always be inclined to give take the shortest path to fulfilling that sin nature.

  26. Kaley says:

    I definitely try to live out “honesty is the best policy.” I’m lucky in that honesty is easy for me – I’m absolutely horrible at being dishonest. But I think we’ve all been in situations where we feel that being honest is not the best idea, especially when it comes to the job setting, because we have an instinct to protect ourselves. The glaring example I am thinking of is when we are dissatisfied with our current position and we are seeking a new job – I’m sure I’m not the only person that has been hesitant to share this with my current employer for fear of losing my job prior to securing a new position. However, I’ve had a wonderful experience with my current supervisor that has taught me a lot about the kind of leader I want to be. My supervisor has established an atmosphere where it is okay to be honest – it is okay to go to her and express dissatisfaction. It is okay to go to her and express the desire for a new job. I’ve come to realize that this is because she sees her employees as people, not just workers, and genuinely wants the best for each of us. I commend her for putting people first. That is the kind of leader I want to be – I want to create an enviornment where my employees feel comfortable being honest and transparent and do not have to have fear of consequences of being open with me.

  27. T. Alex Mayton says:

    Transparency is certainly a hot topic along with the subject of political and economic reform. I think it is the key to accountable leadership.

    On a side note, do students make submissions to this blog too, or only faculty?

  28. Jonathon Mulder says:

    I couldn’t agree more. Honesty is so important in everything that you do. No matter whether it’s in your personal life, work life or whatever else you might be doing. It’s a shame when you see a lack of integrity in some of our leaders in this world. It’s disgusting to read about the leaders of ENRON who were deceitful in the way they handled their business. I wish everyone could be honest and open with one another and run a business full of integrity. It’s real important that we get the right leaders in charge of our country, because who know’s what can happen when you don’t.

  29. Christie says:

    Dishonesty is so destructive to yourself and those around you. First, when you are dishonest with others and to yourself, it confuses you on the person that you are, and what you actually believe. God leads you in a journey and asks you to reflect on what you are doing and where you are going and most importantly why. If you can’t answer these questions for yourself and to others, it leads you in a tangled web. By being honest in your doubts and fears while also being honest with what you believe, you continue down the path of self discovery. You also become a person that people can turn to in their own times of doubt.

  30. Jacqueline Bell says:

    The problem here is intention. If we all completed everything we intended to do, we would not learn from failure. The measure of intention is relative and ideallistic.
    Does God give us the opportunity to fail so that we may learn and persevere?
    I think that honesty is fundamental. Accountability when we fail is mandatory to be authentic. I like to believe that people try their best and sometimes we fail. God wants us to keep our promises. He also uses our moments of feeling ovewhelmed, and our moments of failing, to guided us and foster development.
    Forgiveness and understanding and patience are also key with promises.
    Good post- lots of positive thought and reflection occurring.

  31. Carly Moore says:

    I work in the child care industry. Many people are very dishonest in this practice even though it is required by LAW to be honest and up front. I have made many “enemies” by being open and honest about things I have seen in past centers and especially the current center I work at. I feel I have a moral and ethical obligation to be honest, not only as a Christian, but also to those children and the parents who entrust their children to use each and every day!

  32. Devonna Reyes says:

    I couldn’t agree more with your post about honesty. I recently read an article about most business people having a “game of poker” approach to honesty in the business world. The article said they had this mindset to keep a competitive edge. I found this to be shocking yet so true. Everyone is trying to have a competitive edge whether it be to earn a successful career or keep their current job.

    Honesty is so very important. Especially in every aspect of business. It can be very difficult to bite the bullet and correct mistakes, but taking responsibility for our mistakes is very important and a huge step for our own personal growth.

  33. Jon H. says:

    Authentic leadership is based on the principles of keeping your promises, truth, and honesty. Christ is the epitome of authentic leadership, a mentor for modern leaders and a goal for us to reach. Truth and honesty are seemingly principles that should transcend individual leadership styles but the sad reality is that truth is relative and honesty depends on your perspective. We value success in all things and often overlook how we become successful. Ethics and morals are optional when it comes to meeting the bottom line and giving our stockholders their annual profits.

    The key to the effective application of authentic leadership is to begin by identifying what makes us authentic, what makes us “real.” We must recognize that our values and ethics are central to our leadership and shape them according to the principles that guided Jesus during his ministry. Jesus lived, taught, and led according to how God wants us to live and lead. Jesus faced a number of situations in which he could have let his leadership falter or he could have let something go “just this once” but he did not. He led with strength, compassion, and consistency and his style of leadership set the standard for genuine leadership for time immortal.

    Determine how and why you lead the way you do and then consider how Jesus would approach the same situation. Step into Christ’s sandals and see the world from his perspective and you will find the path to effective, authentic leadership.

  34. Holly says:

    Being honest and always telling the truth seems like an easy principle to follow, but it is surprising in the business world, how many people do not follow these concepts. Dishonesty is destructive to yourself and your company (or outside relationship) as a whole. The truth is always reveled and the individuals that chose to hide behind lies only damage their credibility and the confidence in those that follow them.
    It is human nature to make mistakes, I have made my fair share and know that more are to come, but it shows character when an individual can admit to those mistakes and to the best of their ability correct them. I am thankful that I can make mistakes because then that is a new learning experience for me on how to correct the situation. Also, it is a learning opportunity how not to encounter the same situation in the future!

  35. Bob F. says:

    Honesty, Integrity, and Respect, are three key components to living a life that glorifies God and runs a business. It is all too easy to separate the two, everyday life and your business life. However, that short changes everyone; your family, your friends, your customers, your associates, your shareholders, and on and on. These are core qualities that someone should be able to see in all facets of your life. It is not always easy to admit a mistake in doing your job but the consequences of covering it up are much worse.

    Bob Terry, author of Authentic Leadership: Courage In Action, stated: “Authenticity is knowing, and acting on, what is true and real inside yourself, your team and your organization AND knowing and acting on what is true and real in the world. It is not enough to walk one’s talk if one is headed off, or leading one’s organization, community or nation, off a cliff!”

    Along with knowledge comes action. God gave us the commandment: “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor” (Exodus 20:16). So in short we know that we are to be honest. Now according to Bob Terry with that knowledge we need to act. Let our actions be shown to be in line with what we know to be right. To that end we can then say that we gave our all to every part of our lives, including our business dealings.

  36. Ryan D says:

    Like everyone we are molded by our experiences and inspired by different leaders before us. As future leaders we are responsible for the leaders that will come after us so we need to show authentic, honest principles in how we operate and lead. This will be a model for those below us. Moral courage is doing the right thing when no one is looking and also being honest knowing you will have to face consequences that you won’t enjoy. This won’t always be as public to those below us as it we think it is. It will still give a rubric to those as a way to act in a tough situation in the future and understanding the value of honesty at all times.

  37. Christie Robinson says:

    Keeping promises brings glory to God and you can feel it with the contentment in your heart upon keeping a promise and the hurt and guilt you feel when you don’t.

  38. youngw says:

    I agree with EJI “Dishonesty is destructive”. In today’s world many have become tolerant of many things that were considered unacceptable ten to twenty years ago. In today’s society of adapting to our surroundings many have become accepting everything as the Norn, and that is not true. Dishonesty in any walk of life is wrong and causes us to not only to compromise our trust with others but also compromise our walk with Christ.
    Achan lost everything including his life and the life of his family because of withholding “an ingot of gold”, and though we as Christians today see these wrong doings do we not also withhold ourselves by being dishonest and using white lies. All God asks of us is to love and follow Him, and there for we should give him all of us, and in doing so he will also give all of Himself to us.

  39. Ryan Diven says:

    Business is just a microcosm of life and your principles should not change with one or the other. Honesty is as important to life as it is to business. If you want an successful business that doesn’t conflict with your morals this will be essential. Like the post says, you must be honest about absolutely everything. Along with this, do your best with the details. As it may not be a sin to leave something out, but when you have the opportunity to remember it all and you choose not to, this would be a form of dishonesty as well. This ensures you are completely honest and if you aren’t sure, no one says you have to give the answer right there and then. Go back and make sure, even when the results of your search could just mean more bad news for your business.

  40. Chris Todia says:

    Is it always easiest to tell the truth? Can most conflicts be resolved by simply provoking honesty? Do either the these questions really matter? I would answer no to all three. Sometimes it is easier to take the a less moral approach and tell a white lie, and sometimes the truth hurts, but the reality is that we are called to be honest and to operate with integrity… regardless of what is easiest or what makes the most sense.

  41. Dana says:

    Being honest in everything is important to not only every believer but also any businessperson. If a company is forth coming and there is an honest mistake, some will forgive and move on. At times it is very difficult to be honest, this can be especially true if it is going to put us out of our comfort zone. In the end, if one is not honest it will come out and the consequence could be worse for the individual and the organization.

    Everyone makes mistakes, so it is better to just face the outcome. If it is an honest mistake, God will work it out in the end.

  42. Allison says:

    I believe that ‘honesty is the best policy.’ However, it is not the easiest thing to do. I believe that due to our sinful nature, we have all failed to keep our promises, tell the truth, or be honest at one time or another(s). However, keeping promises and telling the truth is something that seems to be less and less visible in business today. Yet, I think that people understand that dishonesty exists widely throughout businesses today, typically due to greed. I believe these are directly connected with our failure in authenticity and integrity. This is why consumers are more cautious in buying goods today. This is where “word-of-mouth” and referrals can truly help businesses succeed. (Especially with easy 24/7 online abilities and customer reviews). I wanted to include some scripture I thought pertained to living our life with integrity and authenticity, from the Message in I Peter 3:10-15. ***Whoever wants to embrace life and see the day fill up with good, Here’s what you do: Say nothing evil or hurtful; Snub evil and cultivate good; run after peace for all you’re worth. God looks on all this with approval, listening and responding well to what he’s asked; But he turns his back on those who do evil things. If with heart and soul you’re doing good, do you think you can be stopped? Even if you suffer for it, you’re still better off. Don’t give the opposition a second thought. Through thick and thin, keep your hearts at attention, in adoration before Christ, your Master. Be ready to speak up and tell anyone who asks why you’re living the way you are, and always with the utmost courtesy. ***
    I also like the way William Shakespeare summed it up, we he said “No legacy is so rich as Honesty.” ~ William Shakespeare

  43. Allison says:

    I believe that ‘honesty is the best policy.’ However, it is not the easiest thing to do. I believe that due to our sinful nature, we have all failed to keep our promises, tell the truth, or be honest at one time or another(s). However, keeping promises and telling the truth is something that seems to be less and less visible in business today. Yet, I think that people understand that dishonesty exists widely throughout businesses today, typically due to greed. I believe these are directly connected with our failure in authenticity and integrity. This is why consumers are more cautious in buying goods today. This is where “word-of-mouth” and referrals can truly help businesses succeed. (Especially with easy 24/7 online abilities and customer reviews). I wanted to include some scripture I thought pertained to living our life with integrity and authenticity, from the Message in I Peter 3:10-15.

    ***Whoever wants to embrace life and see the day fill up with good, Here’s what you do: Say nothing evil or hurtful; Snub evil and cultivate good; run after peace for all you’re worth. God looks on all this with approval, listening and responding well to what he’s asked; But he turns his back on those who do evil things. If with heart and soul you’re doing good, do you think you can be stopped? Even if you suffer for it, you’re still better off. Don’t give the opposition a second thought. Through thick and thin, keep your hearts at attention, in adoration before Christ, your Master. Be ready to speak up and tell anyone who asks why you’re living the way you are, and always with the utmost courtesy. ***

    I also like the way William Shakespeare summed it up, we he said “No legacy is so rich as Honesty.” ~ William Shakespeare

  44. Bob Fleck says:

    I am in total agreement – Honesty is the best policy. There also should be no separation between what is done in your everyday life and your business life. There is no substitute for an individual that lives by the motto of having integrity, honesty, and respect. In living a life of honesty, regardless of task, one can be respected and they have shown to have integrity. We live in a grey world where black and white decisions are rare. On a daily, if not hourly, basis we are confronted with decisions that will test our character and sometimes it is extremely difficult to know the right answer. All we can do is to turn to the One that has all the right answers and make sure we are operating in His will for our lives.

  45. Staci Davis says:

    Honesty is something that is so imperative to life. Sadly, people’s drive to “get ahead” in the world often takes away this honesty. Though a dishonest action might benefit in the short run, in the long run it will only haunt the person. In business, an honest action will most often create a new opportunity for the person and the business.

    Great post! Thanks!

  46. Joe Yokum says:

    How important is honesty? I believe it is a path we should always follow throughout our lives. Can I say that I am completely honest when it comes to every situation? Not necessarily. However, it is my goal to bring honesty into every facet of my life. If I choose to be dishonest, whether within my personal or professional life, I believe problems will quickly arise and the ‘waters’ can quickly become muddied.

    The need for individuals to be honest does not seem to be at the forefront of minds for most of society and is one reason I see society having so many issues today. If people are choosing to be dishonest to protect their own well-being, then what does that say about the individual or the plan he may have? We need to hold morality high in our everyday life and honesty is the best way to do this.

    Plato famously defined knowledge as “justified true belief.” If this statement is to be correct, then wouldn’t this also be the same for honesty? If we are not being truthful, then we cannot show we have true knowledge in what we are speaking or taking action. By not being honest, we either lack the appropriate knowledge and faking our way through life or we are being deliberate with our dishonesty and using our knowledge in and inappropriate manner to be less than truthful.

    “For we are taking pains to do what is right, not only in the eyes of the Lord but also in the eyes of man” 2 Corinthians 8:21 (NIV).

  47. Brandy McCall says:

    It is important to always remember that although we may not see the presence of God, he is always watching. Telling the truth in all aspects of life to include relationships with others and in a business setting is critical. Displaying honorable characteristics draws people to you and in turn you are viewed as someone who can be trusted. Trust is important in this life. As a manager, if I assign a task to my employee, my espectation is that is gets done. If my employee is not always honest, takes shortcuts, or takes credit for work that he didn’t really do, I no longer want that person on my team.

  48. Kaylene E. says:

    As stated, “The second part is simply being honest in all things. Honesty is an imperative part of any successful business.” Honesty is crucial for any business to truly flourish and be successful. Sure, a business can be successful by lying, cheating, or stealing, but how successful are they really? If a business or business owner has to demoralize their values by being dishonest, then in my opinion they are not a truly successful business. Honesty is vital to making effective changes and identifying who you really are and what you really want. When a business lies about who they are or what they really believe, they reinforce the idea that they need to pretend to be someone else or that they are not fundamentally “good enough”.

    The important traits for success in business are honesty, straight forwardness, fair dealings and moral character. For long run success in the business, it is essential that the business policy must be based on honesty and good faith. When considering honesty, every business leader should ask themselves how credible is their foundation of leadership? Kouzes and Posner writes in The Truth about Leadership, “Leadership begins with you and your belief in yourself. Leadership continues only if other people believe in you” (Kouzes & Posner, 2010, p. 15). A honest business leader would be able to look at themselves and truly believe that he/she is someone they would be willing to follow. If that person doesn’t believe that the would follow themselves, then they are most likely not being honest businessmen. The business should be honest in dealing with others. If he tries to earn money by dishonest method, he/she cannot establish in business in long run. As such, it is desired that he/she should be true to his words and straight to his/her dealings in order to build long-turn reputation in his/her business. A dishonest businessman will not be able to befool his/her customers for ever. Hence honesty should be regarded as the best policy and best practice for the businessman.

    “The Lord detests lying lips, but he delights in people who are trustworthy” (Pr 12:22, NIV). And finally, “Pray for us. We are sure that we have a clear conscience and desire to live honorably in every way. I particularly urge you to pray so that I may be restored to you soon” (Heb 13:18-19, NIV).

  49. John Hladky says:

    Great insight related to the conformity issue. While dealing with it created some hardship, the honestly that the company leadership showed in dealing with the situation will pay dividends in the future. People like working and doing business with companies who are honest enough to do the right thing regardless of the consequences.

    I like your idea of honesty being a minute-by-minute challenge. It truly is and if we fail to be honest in those small decisions falsehoods will ultimately affect our larger decisions. Like your thougths on attention to details also. Details are often what make or break business deals and relationships. If details promised are not delivered, the customer will wonder what other issues exist with the product. While there may be nothing else wrong, the customers negative perception may prevent them from placing additional orders in the future.

    v/r
    John

  50. Margarita says:

    Being honest is always something that is tested on the field of ethics in business. I have seen many times where the person has blamed another or simply not taken resposiblity to the actions itself. I believe that honesty, although difficult in the best of times, is something that should be encouraged. It’s hard to say that it’s the easier route, because more times than not, it’s not. Most times when dishonestly is in play it either back fires or simply gets found out, and the loss of crediblity can lead to bigger issues and/or consequences in the long run. It’s not only important for clients to have faith in what you say, but also employees. Being truthful can be hard, but in the end it’s worth the pain of the moment than to experience a bigger consequence down the road.
    “To be persuasive we must be believable; to be believable we must be credible; credible we must be truthful.” – Edward R Murrow

  51. Zorian Sorrels says:

    I really enjoyed principle 2 that talked about how important it is to keep our promises, tell the truth and be honest in all things. These principles are not original but all originated from God’s Word. For example, Jesus told his people how important it is for us to do as we say. He says, “Just say a simple, ‘Yes, I will’, or ‘No, I won’t.’ Anything beyond this is from the evil one” (Matthew 5:37, NLT). In other words Jesus reminds us the words we speak should validate what we really mean. In a day and age where truthfulness seems so rare, most feel that have to defend their statements by adding “I promise” to their statements. However Jesus says that if we have a reputation of telling the truth we will have no need to add oaths or promises to our words. I can see how vital this could be within a business when it comes to building the respect and credibility among your peers. Great reminder!

  52. Greg F says:

    I believe that honesty in business starts from the top. I spent over 20 years in the Air Force and honesty was inherit the core values that the Air Force taught me: Integrity first, excellence in all we do, and service before self. I think that it is because of how the Air Force teaches these values that makes former or retired military personnel appealing to businesses.

    I was raised with values of telling the truth and do what you say you are going to do, which is basically keeping your promises. I have a grandfather who taught that a man is as only good as his word. My uncle taught that if you say your going to do something, you better do it or have a darn good reason why.

    I also think that integrity, honesty, dependability, and sincerity are values that as Christians we should adhere to. Sometimes life does happen and things that are out of your control can get in the way of promises made. When that happens, that is where honest and sincerity kick in. If something out of your control prohibits you from keeping a promise that you made then be up front about it.

    You should not make promises because in todays world there are to many things that can get in the way. So that is where you at least stake your reputation on being dependable.

    v/r,
    Greg F.

  53. Greg F says:

    Keeping your promises and being honest go hand in hand. If you say you are going to do something then you should follow through and do it. If you do not, then can begin to tarnish your image. In business, your image can be everything.

    I spent over 20 years in the Air Force and they taught me three core values. They are integrity first, service before self and excellence in all we do. It is these core values that lay the foundation for airman. Some choose to follow them and so do not. They are also very close to what Christians adhere to.

    I was taught by my grandfather and uncle that if you say you are going to do something, then you better do it, as long as it is not illegal or wrong. There are values that I try to teach my kids, they are: integrity, sincerity, honesty, and dependability.

    Keeping promises are something that none of us should try to do, however I think that it is human nature to make promises. When you make promises that you can not keep, that begins to break down a person’s honesty, sincerity and their dependability.

    I pride myself as someone who believes that we I say I am going to do something, I will do it.

    v/r,
    Greg F

  54. Dana says:

    I believe that honesty is the best policy. It is also the hardest policy. We don’t want to intentionally hurt someone else when we don’t have to. Unfortunately in today’s world you find only about 50% of all business people are honest or truthful. I find myself very hesitant to believe most of what business owners say. It is unfortunate because I am a small business owner and try to always be honest and upfront with what I say.

    I try to never say anything deliberately that would hurt or insult someone. We need to treat people the same way we would like to be treated. For me, it also has to do with intregrity. If we are not honest in all our actions we have no integrity.

    I also like the way William Shakespeare summed it up. “No legacy is so rich as Honesty.”-William Shakespeare.

  55. Daniel says:

    Keeping promises, telling the truth, and honesty all revolve around each other. However, having the integrity to do all of these things can be a real challenge in world today. A person who always tells the truth must be honest because if you aren’t telling the truth, you truly aren’t being honest. Honesty is more than simply telling the truth to people though. Being honest also means being honest with yourself about your capabilities, strengths, weaknesses, successes, and faults. Here is where truth, honesty, and promises are all tied together. A person shouldn’t make promises that he/she can’t keep. Don’t overexceed your realistic capabilities. I believe we should all strive to demonstrate the integrity to be honest enough to admit to mistakes and to only promise things that are realistic.

  56. Veronica L. says:

    Honesty is such a simple word but can be challenging to do. The truth is often withheld for fear of getting in trouble or fear of being blamed for the consequences that follow. I have found that it is better to tell the truth than to withhold it and try to solve it yourself. It often becomes even bigger than you and consumes all your energy and time, often draining you of your good energy. It is not worth hiding anything from anyone because you will never have peace. You will always be worried about the day when it will all be discovered. This is not the way to live, always in constant fear and at the end you lose the trust that people had in you. When this happens, what do you have left?

  57. Shaun says:

    Honesty is best even in a situation where you think a person will be hurt. I would rather have you tell me something to my face then to have to find out later on from someone else. That would be more upsetting to me then if you came clean right away.

    Now mind you there is a time and place to speak about things and the way you break the news is also important. Knowing your audience is essential to being fully honest. So be honest but choose your words and the environment in which you do it wisely. Do not be the person who calls out your supervisor in front of everyone at the board meeting.

  58. Lydia says:

    I loved researching about Joshua as I named my son after him. That story about the gold that was hidden and how swift and severe the punishment for dishonesty was. I am having a hard time right now because I was dishonest with my husband about smoking. We have gone through some really hard times recently (two babies, husband laid off, moldy house, bankruptcy, loss of family car, now living with my parents in their living room) So I have been really depressed lately and started smoking a few cigarettes a night when everyone goes to bed I go outside for a few minutes to clear my mind but also smoke. (My father is very ill and his health is failing, he just came into announce he is coughing up blood) I am stressed enough already, and now because I told my husband I wasn’t going to start smoking again, I lied. It has caused even more stress among us, thus making me want to smoke more. I wish I would have told him from the start that I would be doing this for awhile (I have been waiting a month for a mental health appointment at the VA for some help) until I could seek professional help to get me through this. (I also suffer from PTSD from two deployments to Iraq) Being dishonest is awful, even if you have to hurt someone being honest, be honest. Please pray for me and my family, as I don’t know really how much more I can take. Sorry this post was a lot about me, just needed someone to hear me. Thanks and God bless you all. Be honest in all things, no matter how big or small, even if you get punished initially for it.

  59. Margarita says:

    “To be persuasive we must be believable; to be believable we must be credible; credible we must be truthful.” – Edward R Murrow

    I have always believed that telling the truth is important in any situation. I have worked in management for some companies where we were encouraged not to tell the whole truth or simply lie to employees to keep them happy (or clients). I never usually stayed in management long when those situations came up. Honesty is the cornerstone of life and business. It’s always easier to say than do in most situations, but when people have faith in you, your company or both, it can lead to both loyalty and growth. It’s not always the easiest thing to do especially when you are in the wrong, but to sound cliche, it’s always the wisest thing to do. I commend you for telling the truth and admitting that you were in the wrong despite knowing the consequences. We have all seen those companies where it was built on lies and then the whole company crumbles.
    Honesty is something is something that ethically should always be done, even when the results can be damaging. In an ideal world, our morals and sense of right and wrong would always lead us down this path to tell the truth, but the reality is that it’s not something that often happens. Unfortunately we don’t listen to that little voiceall the time and choose the easy way out. I have to say that the quote at the beginning of the post is very fitting as the more truthful we are, the more credible we are. Without it, we don’t have crediblity and then no one may want to deal with us. (Repost as the first one never did that I posted on 3/4/12)

  60. Larry Bercel says:

    “Honesty is the best policy” is good saying to live by and yes it can be hard to do, but what is so nice about it is that if you tell the truth you have nothing to hide from in the future. My grandfather, who was a salesman for our family business, would tell us to tell the customer what it is going to take to get the job done, the way we thought it should be done right up front, do not hide anything. If they wanted something different, they would tell us and than we would deside if we would/could support it. Things worked out pretty nice, we got a lot of return customers.

  61. Michael Cook says:

    As we have been told our whole lives, honesty is the best policy. We are brought up to believe this, but yet we try to slip in little “white lies” in order to keep ourselves out of trouble, make things go easier, or sometimes just to see if we can get away with it. However, as Christians, it is imperative to always be honest. This is important not only in our spiritual lives, but also in our business lives. Telling somebody that something will be done on time and to a certain specification is only words; accomplishing that item to the required specifications shows what caliber of a person we really are.

    Also, making a promise does not, necessarily, mean saying the words “I promise.” Anytime we say we will do something, it must be done…that is called keeping your word.

  62. Vicki says:

    This is another great principle to read!

    We have a family policy related to this principle about honest and promise keeping and it is very important to us. We each will not make a promise to any of the others unless we intend to keep it. Therefore, we think long and hard with deep reflection before we will make a promise. When we do make a promise, it means so much to the person we made a promise to as we will do everything in our power to enforce the promise. In 20 years on marriage, I have only not kept one promise to my husband. It became physically beyond my control and I had no way of knowing that would happen when I made the promise to him. My daughters are 19 and 14. I have kept every promise to them.

    I value your company ethics as for a company to respect and honor these principles is truly amazing!

    Sincerely,
    Vicki

  63. Rodney says:

    It very difficult to work with peer when you know they are dishonest. I find that you began to monitor the persons every move, once they have presented themselves as a dishonest individual. I worked in company that requires each employee to have a great deal of intergity. We have to manually input our time into a time editor which requires us to be truthful and when we find a person can not or will not comply to entering their work hours correctly it causes the entire team to question anything that they does.

  64. Josh says:

    So many people believe that when they are in a tough situation, that lying will help get them out of the situation. When in all honesty, they are digging a deeper hole. You made a good point about needing to be honest in even the little things. We all get caught up in that little white lie scenario thinking that it is okay because no one got hurt or is getting hurt. I went to a Christian school from Kindergarden through high school (minus my junior year). One of my Bible teachers told us that it is better not to make promises. There are so many aspects that come into play daily that could prevent us from following through with our promises. The only promise I will make is that I promise to do my best. So one might say that my best may not be good enough, but I believe if I work my hardest to do that task and it is meant to be, God will give me the strength and knowledge to fulfill what I am attempting to do.

    Josh

  65. Portia Brooks says:

    It is very important to keep your promises on the job, especially if you are a Leader. If you always promise and never follow through on your word you cannot be trusted. As a Christian, you have to be trustworthy in especially when you witness to others. Without trustworthiness as leader in any position, you can’t be an effective leader. When you make a promise people are counting on you to do as you said. Your word is lamp to my feet and a light to my path (Psalms 119:103, ESV).
    Being honest is essential wherever you go. You need to practice honesty at every level of your life, not just with yourself. Honesty is a direct reflection of your inner character. Your actions are a reflection on your faith, and reflecting the truth in your actions is a part of being a good witness. In the Bible, God made honesty one of his commandments. Since God cannot lie, He sets the example for all of His people. It is God’s desire that we follow that example in all that we do. The integrity of the upright guides them, but the crookedness of the treacherous destroys them (Proverbs 11:3).

  66. King - Mt Antero says:

    Without honesty you have nothing. You need to be true to yourself before you can be true to your family, job and the world. This peom is great for this post.

    The Guy in the Glass
    by Dale Wimbrow, (c) 1934

    When you get what you want in your struggle for pelf,
    And the world makes you King for a day,
    Then go to the mirror and look at yourself,
    And see what that guy has to say.

    For it isn’t your Father, or Mother, or Wife,
    Who judgement upon you must pass.
    The feller whose verdict counts most in your life
    Is the guy staring back from the glass.

    He’s the feller to please, never mind all the rest,
    For he’s with you clear up to the end,
    And you’ve passed your most dangerous, difficult test
    If the guy in the glass is your friend.

    You may be like Jack Horner and “chisel” a plum,
    And think you’re a wonderful guy,
    But the man in the glass says you’re only a bum
    If you can’t look him straight in the eye.

    You can fool the whole world down the pathway of years,
    And get pats on the back as you pass,
    But your final reward will be heartaches and tears
    If you’ve cheated the guy in the glass.

  67. Rosemary says:

    Keeping your word equates to telling the truth. If after finding that one is not able to keep their word, in order to salvage respect and a reputation, it is imperative to let the party know why “Failure has occurred in keeping your word” (i.e., all reasons why it cannot come to pass). I recently experienced the loss of respect for an elder in the church we attend. What happened is that this individual helped me get a job which, in a very short period of time turned out not to be a good fit at all. Therefore, because I had immediately made my concerns known to him a week after employment, he told me not to worry about the whether or not the job worked out because he was “Well aware of the problems at the location,” and if it did not work out, he would help me get another job. Well, as much as I tried to stay on board, it just could not happen, and on the very day that I was leaving, I contacted him and he assured me that he would help me get into another position at a different location. Unfortunately though, after talking to him a couple of times, nothing ever came to pass – what I mean is that even though he promised to help me again, he never kept his word. But, because I trusted him and felt that he was probably just very busy, I continued believing that he would keep his word and help me just as soon as he could. However, days turned into weeks, and weeks of waiting turned into months, and then I finally got the picture – I was dealing with a person who was dishonest. His failure to keep his word caused me to disrespect him, caused me not to want to work for the company, and caused me to loose interest in attending church because I didn’t want to be around him at all. Failure to keep his word made a huge impact upon me, it caused me to disrespect a man who many keep up on a petal stool. One of the blogs I read helped me remember that I must forgive “In all relationships show mercy and forgiveness, as the Lord gives us mercy and forgiveness.” We all fall short, but the one way we can make the most impact upon other is when “Our reflection reveals Jesus Christ”!

  68. Tbas says:

    We all know the importance of keeping promises to people. Keeping promises leads to trust, which is the foundation of any good relationship, whether it is with friends, your spouse, or your work colleagues. You can casually say you will do something without ever acting upon it. However, get into the habit of keeping promises to yourself and you will find it much easier to complete projects and build new habits. When you say you will do something you mean it. Numbers 30:2 says, “If a man vows a vow to the Lord, or swears an oath to bind himself by a pledge, he shall not break his word. He shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth (ESV)

  69. Moore says:

    Promises, in the business world, are also known as commitments. In light of that fact, one should not say they will do something and then not follow through. Lack of the actual words, “I promise”, does not open the door to walk out on responsibility. Good customer service hinges on the met commitment. Years ago, I was taught that if a commitment could not be kept, I needed to call the person anyway to explain the delay and re-set the commitment. People appreciate this response for the most part. It lets them know they are important to the company and someone is looking out for them.

  70. Justin Sandoval says:

    Honesty and keeping promises are important in every aspect of life.

  71. Eric D says:

    Honesty is a key component in every facet of life, whether it’s in a personal or professional setting. In many jobs’, assessments and status updates are needed on projects and giving an honest assessment is vital for success. If you’re the leader on a project or of a company and you have the careers of your employees in hand you need to be honest in everything, you will gain credibility and if things turned sour they would know that it was meant to be.

  72. Drake Stewart says:

    Some will tell me that I am too honest. I don’t understand how this is possible. When I hear this I reflect on the times in my past that I have not been honest and remember the heart ache the dishonesty caused. I do my best to be honest because I want to be not because I am supposed to be. We owe it to God and our fellow man to tell the truth because it is the truth of God, “Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long” (Psalms 25:5) or as written in John “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32). The truth setting you free is so true! I can feel the relief and goodness when I so want to not tell the truth about something and I tell that truth.

  73. Adrian says:

    I agree that you should be honest in everything you do. Many times in a work environment people tend to just go with nthe group instead of being honest with one another. This is a general statement however it happens all the time. At home it is essential to have honesty with your spouse and children. Developing an environment where things can be discussed freely will definately enhance the household.

  74. Ceta Jagers says:

    “Keep Your Promises, Tell the Truth, Be Honest in All Things.” This statement reminds me of King David’s Psalm 15. The first verse asks questions, the other four verses answer them. O Lord, who may abide in your tent? Who may dwell on your holy hill? Those who walk blamelessly, and do what is right, and speak the truth from their heart; who do not slander with their tongue, and do no evil to their friends, nor take up a reproach against their neighbors; in whose eyes the wicked are despised, but who honor those who fear the Lord; who stand by their oath even to their hurt; who do not lend money at interest, and do not take a bribe against the innocent. Those who do these things shall never be moved. This Psalm speaks of a person’s character, walk, work, and word. “He that walketh uprightly, worketh righteouness, backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil, nor taketh up reproach, gives honour to those who fear the Lord, and changeth not, putteth not out his money to usury, nor taketh reward against the innocent.” The true Christian is fixed and firm and shall never be moved and shall never lose his crown. His dominion is eternal just like our Lord Jesus Christ.

    As Christians God instructs us to be honest, trustworthy, faithful, and have integrity in all things.
    “Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who act faithfully are His delight.”

    God Bless,
    Ceta

  75. Tim says:

    I have been raised by my parents to understand that “honesty is always the best policy.” As it is with all values though, this has always been easier said than done. While being honest has come naturally to some, I have always struggled with it. Growing up, I used to be a compulsive liar and there was a time in my life where it wasn’t smart to trust almost anything I said. The resulting distrust from my family was one of the turning points for me and I decided to take my faith far more seriously after that. There are days that I still struggle with honesty but I have discovered that I am respected for telling it like it is rather than giving people what they want to hear. Being honest has the ability to hurt others, but they will end up respecting you more for giving them what they needed to hear in the end. Thanks for the post and the great discussions by everyone. I have always enjoyed reading about fellow student’s views on important topics like this.

  76. Ben M. says:

    Keep your promises, Tell the truth, and Be honest in all things:

    This blog is a good reminder of how to carry ourselves and the above tagline is a good daily mantra. I, like many people, learn lessons in a more difficult way. While honesty, truth, and keeping your word is a fairly intuitive outlook on behavior, its practice is/was much more difficult for me earlier in life. What I have found is that in order to keep your word, you have to value your word.
    As a young man/boy of 16 years old, I found myself living on the streets and moving from place to place. My concern was where I was going to sleep that night and where was my next meal going to come from. I didn’t value my word, or anyone elses word either. It was my experience up to that point, that people did and said whatever was necessary to get what they wanted.
    I was one of the lucky ones who made it out of the situation. I made it out of that life (or lack thereof) because God saw fit to place a few people in my life that taught me everything I knew was wrong (overstated for dramatic effect). The first and most important lesson I was taught was this: do what you say, keep your word.
    It is 19 years later and I now have three children and a wife. This lesson is just as important, if not more important, as when I first started keeping my word. As a father and a husband, I serve as an example for my family. My children will pattern their behavior after mine. Likewise, as Christians, we are an example for those around us. We serve as an example for other Christians, but more importantly we serve as an example for those who Christ is preparing to receive him.

  77. Katy N. says:

    I like how you said, “There are a couple of parts to this belief: First is keeping promises. Again, a principle that seems easy enough, but in reality it requires discipline to keep promises. If you do not intend to do something, do not promise to do it. In today’s busy work environments, a great deal of discernment is required to sort out plans. Another part of this discipline is to work as hard as you can to keep your promise. It may not be easy, but it is essential to living by this principle. Often, it is the way you keep your promises that brings glory to God.” It seems like in today’s business world, it is a lot harder to keep your promises, such as executives to their employees, employees to their clients, or executives to clients. The list seems to continue with unethical behavior perhaps with the world and sin.

    In regards to the leadership crisis, I believe we got there because of sin. In more than five years after Enron, Global Crossing, Arthur Anderson, and other corporate scandals, unethical business conduct appears to be increasing because of sin. Those that do not know the Lord are especially burdened by sin because they knew no better. I’m sure Enron, Global Crossing, Arthur Anderson, and all those other corporate scandals were due to human sin. In Romans 3:23 (New King James Version), the Apostle Paul says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” I believe all these corporate scandals are happening because we are in the end times, where sin will be ramped. In 2 Timothy 3:1-7, the Apostle Paul states, “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanders, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lover of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of truth.” Therefore, these scandals of corporate scandals and unethical business conduct are because of people and their sins. Consequently, a massive amount of attention has been positioned on our culture’s integrity in recent years due to companies like Enron (Northouse, 2010, p. 21).

    From here I believe we should bow before the feet of God. When we evaluate ourselves and discover our depravity, I believe there is nowhere else to go, but pure desperation for the Lord. When our focus is completely on the Lord, He will do things for our good that could ever image. In Ephesians 3:20-21, the Apostle Paul explains, “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” It is the power of the Holy Spirit that works in us for good things to happen. It is an act of obedience to let Him have His way in us. Then, He will bless us more than we could have ever fathomed.

    Companies today and in the future need to be saved first and foremost. It’s difficult to do things without the Lord and in vanity. It seems like most companies are not Christian, but they do have strategies and the strategies let them be successful. However, unbelieving corporations might seem very successful and strong, but the Lord is the One in control and He can tear those businesses down to help them recognize that they cannot save themselves. In Galatians 5:16, the Apostle Paul states, “I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.” These businessmen are unbelievers and they are doing all that they can to fulfill their lusts.” I believe there are more and more unethical and scandalous corporations and businesses because of the enormous amount of people and the sin that comes from them. If there were more godly corporations, than I would believe less scandalous companies would be out there. However, since most corporations are worldly, I know there are additional unethical companies and I believe those companies will continue to increase.

    Reference

    Northouse, Peter. G. (2010). Leadership: Theory and practice. (5th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc.

  78. Pemila says:

    I couldn’t agree more. Everyone should keep their promises, tell the truth and be honest in all things. Most people think that this is really important in the corporate environment and businesses because there are so many stakeholders. However, I think that the place it is the most important is in the home. If parents kept their promises to their children and to their spouses, told the truth and was honest in all things, we would see children grow up much differently, and as a result, corporate america would look much different. There is so much fraud and lack of integrity in our world today that can be quickly reduced if every parent did their part.

    I recently saw the movie Courageous. It was a great example, and I’m so glad people still make movies like that even though their profit may not be as much as other types of movies. They hit several points right on the head. Statistics and common sense shows that children who have strong father or parental figures with integrity grow up to be much more productive and honest adults compared to fatherless children. The movie showed an example of a police officer at work who stole drugs, and as a result his child did not have him as a father figure. This is just a cycle that keeps continuing. If the parents lack truth and honesty in their lives, whether at work or at home, their children are much more likely to fall into that trap.

    Some parents think that it is the responsibility of teachers or churches to teach their children once they start school. That is wrong. Parents in our society need to take more responsibility for teaching and bringing up their children.

    As a result, I believe that we will see a decrease in corporate fraud, lies, and people with no integrity in their lives and at work. It seems like one home and one child won’t make much of a difference, but I really believe that it starts small and one person can grow up to shine a light out in the world, just as Jesus did for us.

  79. Greg Mixon says:

    Hello all,

    Keeping promises and being honest go hand and hand in the business world and life. I am a National Sales Manager for a company in the US. I deal with different salesman and distributors on a frequent basis. During these exchanges I get request for exceptions to help with a product situation or sales opportunity on a regular basis. Sometimes I can provide a solution without seeking additional approval. Other times I have to involve other parties to get the request satisfied. In either situation I am careful to not over commit without the ability to deliver. I have learned this the hard way. In the business world we call it, under promising and over delivering. This is better than over promising and under delivering. You have to learn to manage the temptation of giving in to make both the customer and you feel better at the moment.

    Being honest is critical to building trust with your employees and your customer base. If you communicate with them both the good news and the bad, they will respect and trust you. in most cases the will try to help you with a solution even if they are not satisfied with the news. Thanks!

  80. K. Nguyen says:

    I like how you said, “There are a couple of parts to this belief: First is keeping promises. Again, a principle that seems easy enough, but in reality it requires discipline to keep promises. If you do not intend to do something, do not promise to do it. In today’s busy work environments, a great deal of discernment is required to sort out plans. Another part of this discipline is to work as hard as you can to keep your promise. It may not be easy, but it is essential to living by this principle. Often, it is the way you keep your promises that brings glory to God.” It seems like in today’s business world, it is a lot harder to keep your promises, such as executives to their employees, employees to their clients, or executives to clients. The list seems to continue with unethical behavior perhaps with the world and sin.

    From here I believe we should bow before the feet of God. When we evaluate ourselves and discover our depravity, I believe there is nowhere else to go, but pure desperation for the Lord. When our focus is completely on the Lord, He will do things for our good that could ever image. In Ephesians 3:20-21, the Apostle Paul explains, “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” It is the power of the Holy Spirit that works in us for good things to happen. It is an act of obedience to let Him have His way in us. Then, He will bless us more than we could have ever fathomed.
    Companies today and in the future need to be saved first and foremost. It’s difficult to do things without the Lord and in vanity. It seems like most companies are not Christian, but they do have strategies and the strategies let them be successful. However, unbelieving corporations might seem very successful and strong, but the Lord is the One in control and He can tear those businesses down to help them recognize that they cannot save themselves. In Galatians 5:16, the Apostle Paul states, “I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.” These businessmen are unbelievers and they are doing all that they can to fulfill their lusts.” I believe there are more and more unethical and scandalous corporations and businesses because of the enormous amount of people and the sin that comes from them. If there were more godly corporations, than I would believe less scandalous companies would be out there. However, since most corporations are worldly, I know there are additional unethical companies and I believe those companies will continue to increase.

  81. William Rosselot says:

    Keep your promises, Tell the truth, and Be honest in all things:

    As Christians, this is a main focus that we should be teaching to others, but you must remind your self of these things first. One should not preach and do the opposite. As a parent, I must teach my children these rules so that will better understand life as they go through it. God has taught this throughout scripture about how to keep promises and how they are repaid and broken, how to tell the truth because if the one you are telling the truth to does not believe you, remember that God knows all. Always be honest in the things you do. This is a hard concept for my 13 year old to grasp. Basically all these are. Because one goes hand in hand and if you have a issue in one area, you will fail in the other two. People who do not tell the truth, are not honest and they have not made a promise to you. This topic we just discussed tonight at Bible study and it is written in Hebrews 6:12. That we must all follow the examples of other Christians and God will reward us with eternal salvation. We must keep our promise to Jesus when we ask Him into our lives and that promise is written in the New Testament. Through this God has been honest in His promise of the eternal life we shall have.

  82. Stephanie S. says:

    The leadership crisis has been impacted by leaders who have made decisions for companies that are not in the best interest of the company but in the best interest of the individual. Sometimes the individuals are dishonest in order to get ahead. This relates to the “golden parachute” leadership where leaders are taking large sums of money for themselves and not to perform their duties the best they can and make decision for the company that will positively affect the company. 1 Timothy 6:10 states “for the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from faith and pierced themselves with many griefs”. If an individual in business makes a mistake and admits to their mistake then people are more willing to forgive them versus if the individual denies their mistake and ultimately gets caught for their dishonest act. Some individuals have a weakness and find it difficult to tell the truth. I believe that it is easier to tell the truth than to lie to cover it up or the individuals eventually get caught. The individuals have to explain why the lie was told and eventually tell the truth. As Christians, it is extremely important to set an example for others to always be truthful and honest in everything we do. Not just in business but in life with family and friends.

  83. Ashleigh Cvitak says:

    Honesty is the key to everything! Without values we are setup for failure in Christ. Honesty can lead to someone to the unknown. It is easy to claim you didn’t know but to be honest and admit when your not right is taking accountability. Most times when someone is taking accountability comes humility. Humility is something that keeps us honest to ourselves. If we are not taking accountability what do God think of us? Most how are not seeking accountability don’t have Christ in their lives. I have been accountable for many things and when I became honest about the situation I lost as well. Humility from the media is most prevalent in today’s society. Because of the media reaction to accountability it is becoming a less favorable practice. To do whats right might not be cool but it is certainly justified. What will happen to our children if we don’t teach them that most media is wrong and misleading. Leading by example is the only way to have children retain a growing relationship with Christ.

  84. DeAnna says:

    It is important to have honesty and trust in any business, if you do not have that then I really do not see how a business could survive. I currently work for a family owned business and that is what I love the most about working for them is the fact that they are honest people and they follow the rules they do not make up rules as they go they are set with procedures, an employee handbook and an ethics policy that is required to by all team members to be read annually. It is not only important to gain the trust of your employees but it is also important to gain the trust of your customers. For example, we are changing our fees at the bank so we made sure we put out a letter to all our customers letting them know that the fee schedule is changing and when. To me you are being up front and honest with them and in the end they will have respect for the business.
    Being honest is not always easy. It is something you have to work on every day. This world we live in gives us many challenges and puts us in some very difficult situations. But as a Christian we have to follow what God wants. Proverbs 11:3 – “Honesty guides good people; dishonesty destroys treacherous people.” (NIV)

  85. Tommy says:

    Keeping my promises, telling the truth, and being honest in all things are principles that I try to live my life by. Keeping promises is extremely important in all aspects of life because it helps to build and develop trusting relationships. If you cannot be counted on to keep your promises than nobody will want to deal with you. Telling the truth is just as important as keeping promises. Nobody wants to be lied to. When you lie to a person, you break their trust and it is not always to regain if you can regain it. Being honest in all things is a side-note to telling the truth. Being honest include all of your daily activities and dealing with people to include yourself. Be hones in all things means doing the right and honorable things all the time even when you don’t think anybody is watching. For example; you go to the store and buy something and you notice that the cashier has given you extra change by mistake. If you keep the extra change you are not lying because nobody asked you, but you will not be acting honestly. The honest thing to do would be to return the extra change to the cashier. Some people might not think of this as a big deal but at the end of the day the cashier will be responsible for any missing money and it will be on your conscience. If you can follow these three principles you will have a good starting point for living a Christian life.

  86. Efrain Q. says:

    My how important to be honest and sincere at all times. I have discovered that honesty is always God’s way to go about in business or ministry. There are many wonderful attributes for individual in leadership but honesty is a sure one to have. I am currently pastoring a church and with every challenging situation the issue of honesty keeps coming up. I would truly say that when I am tempted to be dishonest, the Holy Spirit is there to remind me of the importance of keeping a clean slate. Thank you so much for having this blog about keeping promises, telling the truth, and be honest in all things.

    God bless,
    EQ

  87. Tommy says:

    Wisdom, understanding and knowledge can be found all throughout the Bible. All we have to do is read God’s and open our hearts to his message and we can gain a better understanding of all there of these gifts. If you ask God for any of these he will answer as long as you are asking with a pure heart and are willing to read His word for the answer. I believe that knowledge is power and knowledge is gained through reading and learning. The Bible is full of information that will help anyone gain knowledge that will lead them to an everlasting life with God. We get our power of knowledge from God. He gave us the gift of life and the ability to learn through reading. Without the ability from God, we would not be able to learn and gain the knowledge to help us succeed. I would say that all of these characteristics are learned. As babies, we learn things by watching and following the action of others. As we grow, the ways by which we gain knowledge and understanding grows. We now have the ability to read and talk to God and seek his wisdom. We can never reach our full potential without the help and guidance of God.

  88. Reggie Selby says:

    Organizations that encourage open communication across all functional areas are more adaptive to change, creative, and willing to take more risks. By offering a collaborative approach to problem solving and new product development, the functional areas create relationships where there are common understandings of company goals, strategies, tactics etc. The trust that is developed in this type of environment is the ingredient to moving the company forward and maximizing the return on investment. Bottom line is that artificial barriers collapse when people communicate honestly and relationship are made a priority.

  89. Tommy says:

    All leadership should embrace open, honest, and authentic communication and feedback. i believe that this is a key element in all successful companies. Sometimes the leaders of the organization lose sight of the lower objectives and steer the mission off course. The lower workers understand the day to day operational problems and could help make the company more efficient. The leadership in my organization does not openly embrace honest and authentic communication and feedback. Things must be done their way. If you are unhappy they will let you know that interviews are conducted every Thursday for people who are willing to take your place. Because of my line of work this does not have a big impact on the bottom line return on investments. However it can sometimes be demoralizing to the employees. There are different area of our department that could benefit from open, honest, and authentic communication and feedback.

  90. DeAnna says:

    Our company is very honest, working for a bank we are under the close eye of the FDIC so honesty is one of the most important things to our Senior Management Team. Our top managers model honesty and trust which does affect our bottom line in a positive way. If the team members trust the top managers then they are more likely to stay around and develop a compassion for the company they work for. Our company strives on good communication by using different committees and offering training. This keeps everyone on the same page when it comes to any kind of compliance or legal updates. I think the success to our organization is due to trust and honesty.

  91. C.Perry says:

    I think that there must be trust, honesty, and respect between leaders of companies and their employees. In oder for their to be a a great leader-member exchange there must be trust. I think that technology and social media and networking sites has driven us away from being truly honest and open to the people we are around. Many times people can’t solve conflict with a person face to face. They will email the person or have negative comments to make on their personal profiles. I am glad that I work in a small department were I work closely to my boss. There isn’t any time for distrust. Everyone is accountable for their actions and I trust that my boss is doing her job and she can trust that I am doing mine.

  92. Courtney says:

    As we have learned from Enron and other corporate scandals, there are corporations in this world that are built on a foundation of dishonesty. It is refreshing to know that there are companies that make honesty one of their values and put their values into practice.

    It can be so easy to tell a lie, especially if the lie would be easier for the other person to swallow. Sometimes we would rather not know about a harsh reality we would rather not face, and lies may help us avoid that, for awhile.

    Truth cannot be escaped forever. Eventually, we will have to face the consequences. Honesty, besides the fact that it is morally right, allows us to avoid the embarrassment, the loss of respect, and the need for damage control when we get caught in a lie. In the short term, it is sometimes unpleasant, but in the long term it sustains the reputations of people and organizations.

    Christian leaders should recognize the importance of doing what is right. We need to know where to seek knowledge, wisdom, and understanding, and we should love truth and not stray from it. We should speak the truth from our hearts and keep our promises, even when it hurts (Psalm 15, NIV).

  93. Tommy says:

    Gossip is a big and growing problem in the workplace. It is responsible for most of the unneeded conflict. Legally I don’t think that there is anything that organizations can do to stop gossip in the workplace. Most organizations already disapprove of gossip but there is no way to stop it from taking place. If people want to gossip they will find a way, just like anything else. An organization can not control who their employees talk to or what they talk about after they leave the organizational grounds. Organizations should address the conflicts and disharmony that gossip causes and request that their employees refrain from such actives. When you gossips about someone, you are judging that person without the qualifications to do so. When we judge we will be judged. Proverbs 11:13 – “A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy man keeps a secret” (NIV). Ephesians 4:29 – “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen” (NIV). When you gossip, you can hurt production because you are only worried about yourself and not the best interest of the company. The best thing to do when a co-worker tries to engage you in gossip is to walk away. If you are bold enough you can ask that co-worker to pray with you or if you can pray for them. Proverbs 26:20 – “Without wood a fire goes out; without gossip a quarrel dies down” (NIV).

  94. Greg Powell says:

    Above all honesty must be at the forefront of who we are, what we are, and in all we do. Our world today does not believe and complete and total honesty unless its in the privacy of your own home.

    I’ve been asked in the work place about certain views such as homosexuality and when I express my knowledge of how its sin I get ridiculed for it. I do not understand the push back, this is the one area where “don’t ask, don’t tell” needs to be applied.

    I’ve also been faced with the fact of being asked how to better my work place, or asked by upper manangement about a certain situation and I have found most of the time a pat on the back is being sought not my true opinion of what I really think.

    Now I am to the point of not saying anything or prefacing what I think with, “are you sure you want the answer because I am brutally honest.” Being honest doesn’t require someone to be mean or rude about what is being said but it does require for honesty no matter what.

    If we had more people being honest and not turning their back on what is happening I bet there would be a whole lot of companies exposed for some pretty dirty secrets. Just my guess!!!!

  95. Steven Reichenbach says:

    Gaining trust is the most important prinicple to building relationships. That true for all relationships – “Best Friends”, Boyfriend-Girlfriend”, “Work”. When we meet other people for the first time, we put on our protective coat of armor. As we get to know someone and understand that there are common interest, we start to peel away the coat of armor. However, in order to penetrate the deeper layers, their needs to be trust. Trust occurs because you can depend on the other person to do whtat they say they are going to do. You trust because their honest. You trust beacuse you share common interest.

  96. Steve Reichenbach says:

    This is the foundation for ethical behavior and moral beliefs. The fact is that we should act and behave ina manner that we want others to act toward us. That is we want them to be honest, truthfull and to do what they say tthey would do.

  97. GMCullen says:

    Truth and honesty in business is paramount. “Trust rules your personal credibility. Trust rules your organization’s innovativeness and performance. Trust rules your brand image. Trust rules just about everything you do” (Kouzes & Posner, 2010, p. 76). In 2011, a highly reputable design-build construction firm suffered severe blows to its credibility when structural weaknesses were discovered in numerous schools built by the firm throughout the State of Colorado. The weaknesses were directly attributed to a staff structural engineer who made a series of mistakes in structural calculations. The design-build firm fired the engineer, reviewed the work performed by the engineer during the tenure of his employment and is correcting the errors at every affected school. When a Fort Collins school recently awarded the firm a new contract for a multi-million dollar expansion project, the school principal, Bob Schaffer (former U.S. Congressman) was quoted as saying “these unfortunate examples where there were deficiencies – they’re making it right…it’s a company of great integrity” (The Denver Post, January 26, 2012). This is a good example of a business telling the truth upon learning of the mistakes made and covered up by an employee; being honest with its clients and taking action to review and correct all of the projects touched by the dishonest engineer and working to live up to its promise to the various school districts to deliver a quality construction project. I have known one of the executive management team members of this firm for more than twenty years – he took the mistakes very personally. The dishonesty of one engineer had a catastrophic impact on the firm’s good reputation, its employees, its client relationships and the design-build delivery method for the industry as a whole.

  98. GMCullen says:

    Truth and honesty in business is paramount. “Trust rules your personal credibility. Trust rules your organization’s innovativeness and performance. Trust rules your brand image. Trust rules just about everything you do” (Kouzes & Posner, 2010, p. 76). In 2011, a highly reputable design-build construction firm suffered severe blows to its credibility when structural weaknesses were discovered in numerous schools built by the firm throughout the State of Colorado. The weaknesses were directly attributed to a staff structural engineer who made a series of mistakes in structural calculations. The design-build firm fired the engineer, reviewed the work performed by the engineer during the tenure of his employment and is correcting the errors at every affected school. When a Fort Collins school recently awarded the firm a new contract for a multi-million dollar expansion project, the school principal, Bob Schaffer (former U.S. Congressman) was quoted as saying “these unfortunate examples where there were deficiencies – they’re making it right…it’s a company of great integrity” (The Denver Post, January 26, 2012). This is a good example of a business telling the truth upon learning of the mistakes made and covered up by an employee; being honest with its clients and taking action to review and correct all of the projects touched by the dishonest engineer and working to live up to its promise to the various school districts to deliver a quality construction project. I have known one of the executive management team members of this firm for more than twenty years – he took the mistakes very personally. The dishonest actions of one engineer fractured the trust between the firm, its clients and the construction community and had a catastrophic impact on the firm’s good reputation, its employee morale, client relationships and the design-build delivery method.

  99. Matt Simonson says:

    I couldn’t agree more; thank you for your wonderful insight!

  100. Lesley Tercero says:

    Transparency is so important in the business world. To be transparent, you must be honest, forthcoming, and truthful. Transparency gives others a sense that they can trust you and that you are going to tell them the truth in good times and bad, and that everything is out in the open. This type of leadership is what I want to take with me. The company I work for has been promising us to upgrade our operating systems for years. They started to roll out a new system on a small scale that they had spent more than a year working on, training a group to work on it, and millions of dollars developing. It took great courage for the company to come out to all the employees and have leadership personally speak to the employees and admit that they had made a mistake, that they did not do their best and pull this new system–including future work on it. They committed to finding a better implementation of a new system, and gave a promise to a timeline that they feel they can keep, slowly implementing. As an employee, I really appreciated this type of transparency and the admittance of a large costly error.

    The portion that I find that I struggle the most with is “keeping my promises.” It isn’t that I didn’t mean it, because my intentions are good. It’s the fact that I am not honest with myself in evaluating what I can actually accomplish. I tend to find myself overextended and promise more than I an commit to in a day. I know this is a terrible practice and I’m working on it. I think this means being honest with myself in the little things, knowing I must evaluate what I can actually accomplish in a reasonable amount of time and learning to tell some that sometimes the answer is ‘no.’ Although I don’t do this in business, I find myself doing this with my children. It is imperative to correct so that they do not pick up these terrible habits.

    I also like the point that we must do our best with details. I am a detail oriented person, but at times I get so caught up with a project that it washes the details of something else. We have to commit to doing something to the best of our ability, with attention to all the details. I tend to take a lot of notes, and make sure I note each detail, so that I am sure not to forget any part. I also use checklists often. This helps me to keep track of each thing I need to get accomplished, and give me a sense of accomplishment to check each thing off my list.

  101. Cassie Grim says:

    Honesty is so important whether in the Christian World or non-Christian world. I work for a Christian organization, and with this, honesty is even more important. As Christians, we are commanded to be honest and the world is always watching for us to fall. Each person in the organization must do their best to maintain honesty and keep promises.

    This post mentions the devastation that was brought to those who were untruthful in the Bible. The same stands today. An organization can rise or fall based on the issue of truth. With so many social media networks available for customers to share their positive and negative experiences with an organization, one broken promise or lie can easily turn away hundreds of potential customers. God brings favor to those who follow him and follow his commands, and this can apply in their business as well.

    For non-Christian businesses, honesty also draws in customers. A person is more likely to stay with a business that they can trust. Personally, I am willing to pay a higher price to shop with an honest company. Those who are dishonest are eventually caught. We all have seen companies like Enron come to an end because of dishonesty. They earn a place in current events and may earn a place in history, but their employees suffered because of the faults of executives with the organization. No company wants to make history books because of something like this.

    It is also important to maintain honesty even when a mistake is discovered, whether someone intentionally made the mistake or if it was an honest mistake. An organization lying about the mistake will only lead to more lies and if the truth comes out later, the downfall is much worse than owning up to the mistake in the first place. In my work, I have had to call people and apologize for misleading information or mistakes that was given or made by coworkers, but it is important to maintain the integrity of the organization. Most people are satisfied with an apology.

    Finally, honesty is important among coworkers. I know there has been tension on occasion due to broken promises, gossip, and flat out lies within the organization. This is a problem because we are the body of Christ and should treat each other as such. It is also a problem because productivity is affected. When workers are not happy with one another, they do not work well together. It is important as brothers and sisters in Christ and for the organization as a whole to be honest with one another.

  102. Cassie G. says:

    Honesty is so important whether in the Christian World or non-Christian world. I work for a Christian organization, and with this, honesty is even more important. As Christians, we are commanded to be honest and the world is always watching for us to fall. Each person in the organization must do their best to maintain honesty and keep promises.

    This post mentions the devastation that was brought to those who were untruthful in the Bible. The same stands today. An organization can rise or fall based on the issue of truth. With so many social media networks available for customers to share their positive and negative experiences with an organization, one broken promise or lie can easily turn away hundreds of potential customers. God brings favor to those who follow him and follow his commands, and this can apply in their business as well.

    For non-Christian businesses, honesty also draws in customers. A person is more likely to stay with a business that they can trust. Personally, I am willing to pay a higher price to shop with an honest company. Those who are dishonest are eventually caught. We all have seen companies like Enron come to an end because of dishonesty. They earn a place in current events and may earn a place in history, but their employees suffered because of the faults of executives with the organization. No company wants to make history books because of something like this.

    It is also important to maintain honesty even when a mistake is discovered, whether someone intentionally made the mistake or if it was an honest mistake. An organization lying about the mistake will only lead to more lies and if the truth comes out later, the downfall is much worse than owning up to the mistake in the first place. In my work, I have had to call people and apologize for misleading information or mistakes that was given or made by coworkers, but it is important to maintain the integrity of the organization. Most people are satisfied with an apology.

    Finally, honesty is important among coworkers. I know there has been tension on occasion due to broken promises, gossip, and flat out lies within the organization. This is a problem because we are the body of Christ and should treat each other as such. It is also a problem because productivity is affected. When workers are not happy with one another, they do not work well together. It is important as brothers and sisters in Christ and for the organization as a whole to be honest with one another.

  103. Shellie says:

    People today find it too easy to say “I didn’t mean that”. God wants his people to speak and live the truth. He wants our words to be as binding as contracts. There are many advantages from telling the truth. First when you tell the truth it is a lot easier to remember what you said. If someone is to double check on something you told them, they will find that you told them the truth, and this will build their confidence in doing business with you. It is a lot easier for someone to want to do business with a person who is trustworthy and reliable, and with trust it builds your integrity. The old saying about a “web of lies”, this is what starts with one untruth, and then another is told to cover the first, and so forth. When you do not tell the truth, you are deceiving someone. One person’s deception can cause many to suffer. In Joshua 7:1-26 Achan’s sin brought judgment on the entire nation, it was because God needed the entire nation to be committed to the job they had agreed to do – conquer the land. When one person failed, everyone failed. In business and in our personal lives it is important that we do not over promise or commit to something, and then under deliver. Customers would much rather we tell them the truth up front, can we meet that delivery, can we guarantee the product will be ready, rather than promise, the customer makes plans for this promised delivery, and then is met with frustration and disappointment. Many of us know that it is much easier and far more profitable to keep a repeat customer than to have to build a new customer base. We need to have control over our actions and trust is based on each individual being ethical. Our personal values determine how we act. Our ethical behavior is living up to our personal values. By focusing our efforts on not over promising and always telling the truth, we can create an everlasting positive customer experience.

  104. Will says:

    Great post and great words to live by – thank you!

    “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” – John 1:5 ESV

  105. Jason sabin says:

    I believe this priniciple is important in business in general to build trust, but it is even more important for Christians to keep their integrity in the work place; this is part of our testimony. People are watching and expecting us to keep our integrity. If we don’t tell the truth in all things, how do people know we are being honest when we tell them about our faith and especially about Jesus. This reminds me of one of my favorite biblical passages:

    “Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform your oaths to the Lord.’ But I say to you, do not swear at all: neither by heaven, for it is God’s throne; nor by the earth, for it is His footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. Nor shall you swear by your head, because you cannot make one hair white or black. But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one” (Matthew 5:33-37).

  106. Andrew Montoya says:

    I recently say a post on Facebook that said: “Respect yourself enough to walk away from anything that no longer serves you, grows you, or makes you happy.” So when I said: “How about have enough respect for your commitments that you stick around when it no longer serves you, grows you, or makes you happy. Hmmmm… Love is a choice, and sometimes that choice is not convenient, but love is not meant to be.” You might imagine the wrath that it created. I of course didn’t let that phase me, I went on to say: “Sounds like a copout or the theme song for the divorced.” My intent was not to anger anyone, but to just say that if you have made a commitment to something that you should follow through with it even when it is not convenient or if it doesn’t feel good. That is exactly what the first part of this post is saying: “Do what you promised to do, or keep your promises.”

    “Tell the truth, be honest in all things.” This can be difficult, especially if you are in the midst of doing what you said you were going to do. Or when you are asked for your opinion on how a loved one looks. However, to lose your value of honesty is the greatest of travesties that you can find yourself in. When you can’t be trusted you have lost your ability to move with freedom. In a relationship, a work environment, a leadership position, or in your family trust is a necessary tool for you to have. Without trust you will be seen with doubt.

    In the real world these two things are seldom thought of as a value. Most will value the ability to explain them away instead. And I know that there are times when life changes and circumstances cause your intent to shift. What happens when the person you love has a change of heart, and their desires don’t align with yours? Life can change, but we can still tell the truth, and keep our promises. Jesus was not swayed when he was faced with the cross. He was steadfast. I am sure that Paul would have rather just said: “I will respect myself enough to walk away from this because it no longer serves me, grows me, or makes me happy.” Instead he said:

    “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

    And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should (Ephesians 6:10-20 New International Version).”
    Be strong, stand firm, pray for me are his words. So I will say the same. I know that there is so much more at work than what we can see with our human eyes, and I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel.

    Andy

  107. Jude Johnson says:

    I heard a saying growing up, that honesty is the best policy; this is so true in every facet of life. Regardless of our religious background, we have to be men and women of our words. As an Accountant, I have people who ask me to do some magic so they can get more refund. My response to them is that we have to do the right thing. The IRS may never know how much you truly incurred as an expense but God knows is the response I usually give. Lying and cheating gets you nowhere; but into more trouble. The Bible declares in Numbers 32:23 (NIV) “………..you may be sure that your sin will find you out.” Whatever we do in the dark or dishonest about will one day come to light. To live life in peace and enjoy the backing and blessing of God, we have to do the right thing; we have to do what we say we will do.

  108. Brandon Mulcahy says:

    In a world where bending the truth and decieving people for profit is acceptable we as christians need to bodly stand out and become something that our generation wants to fight against. 1st Timothy 4:12 (NIV) says”Dont let anyone look down on you because you are young but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith, and in purity.” This is how the Lord wants us christians to live and we need to. If we do not start making attempts to clean this countries act up we are going to be pulled down by the immorality of this country. God Bless.

  109. Brent says:

    Honesty and integrity are two of the most important characteristics for a leader to possess. Keeping one’s promises and commitments are central to upholding these values. I also work in an industry that answers to federal agencies regarding the company’s business practices and products. The “license to operate” that these agencies grant based primarily upon inspections is the driving factor for a lot of people to work in an honest and truthful manner. Without this federal agency’s blessing, they might lose their jobs. The reality is that, beyond the regulators and laws controlling our work practices, the reason we should work in an honest manner is that people ultimately consume our products. There are real consequences to dishonesty in this field and it might end in catastrophic results.

    Often, it is easy for people to overlook the final impact of small excursions into dishonesty. This is why it is important that a leader emphasizes the value of honesty, but also demonstrates actions to back up these statements. Any slight deviations by the leader will be observed by the workforce and the mixed messages will lead to a cascade of problems. Unfortunately, too many people view honesty and integrity as shades of grey rather than black and white. The challenge for all of us working in both secular and non-secular marketplaces is to not be influenced by those around us and to uphold what we know to be ultimately true.

  110. Kjirsten Wright says:

    Honesty in business is of utmost importance. I work as a paralegal for a law firm and honesty is definitely an important part of my job. I have to bill for my time and it is important to the firm and to our clients that what I am billing for is what I should be billing for and that I am taking an appropriate amount of time for each task I am accomplishing.
    Additionally, honesty is such an important thing in the legal environment that when people testify, they are sworn to tell the truth. Dishonesty while testifying can lead to very stiff penalties and it also damages your credibility as a witness.
    As leaders, we need to encourage honesty, not only in our own actions but for those we are leading.

  111. Mike Norton says:

    Tim,

    Honesty is the backbone of credibility. As an organization, you either, do what you say you will do, or no one in the market or your own industry will believe you. Ethics in industry can make or break you. If you tell the truth personally or professionally, you have no story that needs to be remembered. Jesus said it best when confronting those who opposed him.

    To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
    They answered him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?”
    Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. I know that you are Abraham’s descendants. Yet you are looking for a way to kill me, because you have no room for my word. I am telling you what I have seen in the Father’s presence, and you are doing what you have heard from your father. Or presence. Therefore do what you have heard from the Father.

    “Abraham is our father,” they answered.
    “If you were Abraham’s children,” said Jesus, “then you would#
    Some early manuscripts “If you are Abraham’s children,” said Jesus, “then
    do what Abraham did. As it is, you are looking for a way to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. Abraham did not do such things. You are doing the works of your own father.”
    “We are not illegitimate children,” they protested. “The only Father we have is God himself.”
    Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I have come here from God. I have not come on my own; God sent me. Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me! Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me? Whoever belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.” (John 8: 31-47, NIV).

    We grieve God’s heart when we are dishonest. He has all the right to disown us in our sins, but He sent His Son to die for us, so that one day we can live with Him.

  112. Don Miller says:

    In July of 2010, I was selected to revitalize three high visibility programs within our organization. A major inspection was on the horizon and the outcome could impact the promotion of our senior executives. My senior managers all stated, “do well and there is potential to receive a permanent position with a promotion. I worked feverishly to bring all three programs into compliance. Each received high marks and feedback from the inspectors. In May of 2011, that senior executive left our organization with the new leadership promising to keep the word of the previous executive director. I garnered the annual award of “Civilian Non-Supervisor of the Year” for our company. I was number 1 of 100 of my colleagues. Unfortuantely, the leadership never stayed true to their word. They talked the talk, but didn’t walk the walk. I left them in late 2012.

  113. Jay says:

    It is imperative that organizations create an atmosphere of honesty within the work environment. The level of honesty associated with an organization affects both the employee base and the customer base of a company. In summary, an organizations level of honesty can help make or break a company.

  114. Val Roy says:

    I am so intrigued that you incorporate God into your principles of business. I think even for non-believers incorporating God places a needed structure for the business world. I really like your principle on honesty and think all too often businesses and people will try to cut corners to save money knowing the practice taking place is not honest. I can say I have been guilty myself of trying to cut corners at work in order to save time. Sometimes a desire to excel and be successful can get in the way of keeping God -centered values, but taking a step back and evaluating helps with accountability.

  115. Cliff R says:

    I have to be honest (yes, I said it); at times I find it a bit disheartening that being honest is seen as such a great virtue when in reality is should be an expectation. I too often find myself struggling not to question the motivation of a company or organization when purchasing a particular product. Are they in it to provide a needed and unmet service, fulfill a personal desire to be your own boss or just straight profit? I don’t want to be the doomed and gloomier but we hear so much of it today. From corporate America to some of the smallest small businesses, we hear of dishonest conduct. On the other hand, as a consumer, my personal expectation for businesses founded on Christian principles is that honesty should be assumed and practiced without doubt or hesitation. After all, I’d be more concerned with answering to the Lord for any dishonest business practices than to my customer base. Just a consumer’s point of view.

  116. Dan says:

    Honesty is not only a challenge on the business front but also in our personal lives. I really appreciated that your business is conscious to the daily challenges focused around honesty. To me as a consumer, even though you realized a mistake in taking the time to identify and correct the mistake to maintain integrity within your business as well as your customers is admirable and would have gained or kept my business. I completely agree with your quote “Be honest in ALL things (not just the big things)” validates the remainder of your post.

  117. Chec says:

    We live in society where stretching the truth and decieving people for profit is acceptable such as any type of sales person. As christians we need are held to a higher standard and under the miceospope. We need to set the example in all ways. God wants us christians to live Godly lives and there is noe bending his word.

  118. Lesley Tercero says:

    Transparency is so important in the business world. To be transparent, you must be honest, forthcoming, and truthful. Transparency gives others a sense that they can trust you and that you are going to tell them the truth in good times and bad, and that everything is out in the open. This type of leadership is what I want to take with me. The company I work for has been promising us to upgrade our operating systems for years. They started to roll out a new system on a small scale that they had spent more than a year working on, training a group to work on it, and millions of dollars developing. It took great courage for the company to come out to all the employees and have leadership personally speak to the employees and admit that they had made a mistake, that they did not do their best and pull this new system–including future work on it. They committed to finding a better implementation of a new system, and gave a promise to a timeline that they feel they can keep, slowly implementing. As an employee, I really appreciated this type of transparency and the admittance of a large costly error.

    The portion that I find that I struggle the most with is “keeping my promises.” It isn’t that I didn’t mean it, because my intentions are good. It’s the fact that I am not honest with myself in evaluating what I can actually accomplish. I tend to find myself overextended and promise more than I an commit to in a day. I know this is a terrible practice and I’m working on it. I think this means being honest with myself in the little things, knowing I must evaluate what I can actually accomplish in a reasonable amount of time and learning to tell some that sometimes the answer is ‘no.’ Although I don’t do this in business, I find myself doing this with my children. It is imperative to correct so that they do not pick up these terrible habits.

    I also like the point that we must do our best with details. I am a detail oriented person, but at times I get so caught up with a project that it washes the details of something else. We have to commit to doing something to the best of our ability, with attention to all the details. I tend to take a lot of notes, and make sure I note each detail, so that I am sure not to forget any part. I also use checklists often. This helps me to keep track of each thing I need to get accomplished, and give me a sense of accomplishment to check each thing off my list.

  119. themormon says:

    Tim,

    Your OPPORTUNITY ABOUNDS acronym for What we believe at Walker is pretty spectacular including the history. Principle 2 – Promises are to be kept; keep your word, tell the truth, be honest in all things (dishonesty cannot be tolerated within the company or in outside relationships, as it is ultimately destructive). How does this align with keeping the Commandments and forgiving someone? Have you ever came across someone in your life where you couldn’t forgive them? I completely understand where your coming from. By not keeping Principle 2 near and dear, your setting yourself up for ultimate destruction. What if someone within the Family Business makes a mistake without confessing, and latter you find out the real truth. What then? I’m sure he/she can be forgiven…

    On the other hand, what I really love about this principle is linking your outside relationships with your company relationships. If your “one” way at home and “one” way at work, your simply a fake! Chances are…if you act a certain way (bad) at home, some of that will leak into your work life. No one likes a two face. This aligns perfectly with a Biblical Worldview. As a Christian I’m expected to act, it is my duty to act, with kindness led by the spirit. It is only right to act in this way, and treat others this way at work and at home. You really drove it home with that acronym. I love it…

    Thank you

  120. MikeS says:

    Honesty is the foundation of all relationships. Between spouses, between coworkers, between employees and their leaders and between companies and the customers they serve. A relationship cannot thrive if the parties do not trust each other and I believe companies who are dishonest will eventually fail.
    I work in a marketing department of a college and have come to believe that the words honesty and marketing are antonyms. The department’s job seems to be, not necessarily to tell outright lies, but to stretch the truth to best fit the marketing strategy. I do not see a difference between lying and stretching the truth by the way. Thankfully, I am more of a peripheral player in all of it and because of this can attempt to be the voice of reason. An example I can share of our college misrepresenting itself via marketing happened a few years ago. We had acquired some new video technology and the marketing plan was to tell students that they could have a career in video production and television if they took our courses. I quickly realized that this was not true. We had poor instructors, no articulation agreements and no companies looking to employ our students. We were taking their money for two years and giving them training which would do them little good in the future. The program folded in a couple of years. I’ve come to believe that if you have to lie about your product it is not a good product, you need to fix it and then you can market the truth.
    Part of my job is working with our sports teams. We do not lie about them. They are not the greatest, but we have good kids and good coaches who care about their players. They tell them up front that we will not cheat on the field or in the classroom. The athletes expect no special treatment and they receive none. Despite all of this the program is thriving. I believe because we are running an honest program that it is being blessed and the wins will come. Psalm 106:3 says it best, “You bless those people who are honest and fair in everything they do” (Contemporary English Version). Honesty, even if it means more work and maybe a few losses, is always the best policy.

  121. VG says:

    Principle 2 is a great example of how people should live their lives whether it is on a professional or personal level. Everyone has been called by God and there are important responsibilities each person has to meet to maintain their relationships. These are strict and measurable standards based on honesty, integrity, and morals. Relationships should be built on mutual respect, rapport, and trust. Communicating openly and honestly with others will break down barriers and open the door to effective communication. A person can build trust by leading by example; he or she should be accountable for mistakes and failures, listen, and keep his or her promises. Honesty and integrity in business is shown through its commitment to excellence in its services to its customers and employees. Your company is a perfect example of these statements. How many companies would be so forthright in acknowledging its mistakes? Where would our society be today if everyone followed these standards? Businesses and people should remember the importance of always doing the right thing even when no one is looking. “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone” Colossians 4:6 (New International Version).

  122. BOGIE says:

    This is a very compelling post. When business is conducted under the pretense of honesty and integrity, it makes for not only a better business relationship, but a better representation of who we are in CHRIST as well. All too often we are subjected to the lies of others. Consequently, we as Christians begin to succumb to the temptations of the world and we begin to believe that the little white lie will just slide under the radar. The pervasive nature of this mindset becomes particular prevalent when one examines the business world. The Apostle Paul writes to Timothy regarding the importance of not allowing money to be your master. Yet, everyone seems to be preoccupied with money, success and the false sense of security that can come from these things. Cutting a corner here and there in an effort to make an extra dollar has become common practice in today’s business world; almost to the point of expecting it to happen. I applaud you and your family for operating a Christ-centered business that seeks to integrate the basic tenets of honesty, integrity and a love for God back into our culture and our business world!

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