In business there are all kinds of views on what it takes to be successful. Enough money in reserve to keep you going during lean times, good staff, business training, right location, knowledge of your market, among other things.
In my opinion, what will keep you in front of the competition are consistent values and ethics! When customers and clients can rely on your honesty and integrity they will support your business and market it to their friends. I don’t mean just having nice words in your Mission Statement, I mean living it, every day.
I have a friend who owns a car dealership. Someone brought in an older model vehicle that had come from his dealership several years prior to have it serviced. The service manager noticed that rust had made the old vehicle unsafe and it was really too far gone to repair. My friend asked the owner of the vehicle to come to his office when they came in to pick up the vehicle. He had a cheque on his desk for $1000 made out to the owner of the vehicle. He told them that it was unsafe and he could not let the owner take it from the dealership. He said he would give them $1000 for the vehicle with no strings attached. They could cash the cheque and go anywhere they wanted to buy another vehicle. His dealership is very successful because of his values and ethics.
Herbert J. Taylor wrote the four-way test of the things we think, say, or do as an ethical guideline for a company he was rebuilding more than 60 years ago.
Rotary adopted this for their International Service Club soon after and it is a guiding principle today. It is as follows;
Four-Way Test of the things we Think, Say, and Do
- Is it the TRUTH?
- Is it FAIR to all concerned?
- Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS?
- Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?
Can’t think of better values and ethics for an organization!