Organizations thrive because they move forward. Simple. Yet, apparently not well understood. People often miss the most obvious while searching for the “secrets” to success.
My racquetball coach reminds me from time to time, when things are not going well, “to remind myself of the basics and go back to doing what I know works. Then when I’ve reestablished the foundations under my game start adding the finesse and more advanced techniques of play and strategy.” This is good advice, not just for racquetball, but for nearly all ventures in life. It is good organizational strategy as well, whether your organization is for profit or not-for-profit.
All organizations engage with people. “People” is the common denominator. So when you identify what works well with people, you will have identified what works well in any organization.
I learned many years ago a truth that continues to prove its worth to me, viz., hire people of high character. Character will always trump job skills, deal making, management or supervisory leadership, etc. For good or ill, character will always rise to the top. If it is quality character it will motive, inspire, encourage, and resource the entire organization’s work force. If it is poor character, it will de-motivate, discourage, and breed resentment and subterfuge within the organization.
An organization will thrive when it hires people of quality character and resources them well with finances, tools, job and task skills training (and do not forget “people” training!) An organization suffers when it looks first to the job skills of a job applicant and hires a person with skills talent but poor character. Major loss of organizational morale, customer loyalty, and the organization’s reputation result from hiring “sharp” “skilled,” “experienced” people of low quality character. As soon as your organization becomes known as the one with dishonest or self-serving people, your community will abandon your organization and go elsewhere. And they will not tell you why!
In my own experience, on the few occasions I was “asked” to compromise my character, or integrity for the sake of “the deal,” and I refused to do so, the long term result was always good. It was good for me, it was good for our client, and it was good for our company. When a client knows you will compromise your integrity by, lying for example, he will never trust you again, even if he was initially the person who requested this compromise to your integrity! His own level of trust and loyalty for you and your organization takes a dive over a steep hill to a very low level and it will never recover. Simply explain to the one who is “asking” for a character compromise that he can “always” trust your word and your service to him because you “never” compromise your character nor the integrity of your company to get ahead. You will simply walk away from the deal. But as you do so, you will also walk away with a lower view of the quality of the other person’s integrity. And that person and his organization will never recover either. So ask for an agreement to partner on only the highest and uncompromised level of integrity and character. It will bring success to both of you.