“Let your life be a stepping stone to Christ and not a stumbling block.” 1 Cor. 8:13 & 10:31
"Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works and glorify God who is in heaven." Matt. 5:16
By Rick Boxx
The Edelman agency, which has done significant research about a variety of issues related to the global marketplace, recently concluded an extensive study asking a cross-section of people to express their present levels of confidence in corporate executives and their companies.
In similar surveys in the past, respondents had pointed to "financial performance" and "quality products" as some of the most important attributes that influence their trust in those leaders. Since the worldwide economic collapse, however, the significance of those factors has fallen dramatically. The key issues, the Edelman researchers report, now include "transparent and honest practices" and "being a company I can trust."
It appears that many people now realize just because a business can demonstrate outstanding financial performance, this does not necessarily reflect on its dependability. In other words, if you cannot trust the people producing impressive fiscal numbers, what difference does it make?
Obviously, in recent years the credibility of many sectors of the business and professional world has taken a major hit. “Who can you trust?” is a question many of us have asked, and sadly that question has not always been easy to answer. From the top leaders in government to celebrated corporate executives to rising entrepreneurs, integrity and honesty seem to have become qualities found only in diminishing supply.
Perhaps it might be helpful to look to an old book, the Bible, for a classic example of how a true leader should act. I would propose that we to consider becoming leaders much like the prophet Daniel, whose life is described well in the Old Testament.
In Daniel 6:4 it is written about him, "They could find no corruption in him, because he was trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent."The situation here was that Daniel had risen to become a prominent leader in ancient Babylon, much to the chagrin of his rivals. They had determined the best way to undermine his increasing authority and prestige was to discredit his actions.
These opponents, despite great effort, failed miserably in challenging Daniel’s integrity, and subsequent efforts to place him in jeopardy ultimately led to their own undoing. When their false allegations were disproved, the same accusers were executed while Daniel was entrusted with even more important duties under King Darius.
Given the adverse circumstances he faced, Daniel could hardly have been blamed for compromising his personal ethics, but he held true to his convictions and as a result was richly rewarded.
I would suggest that if you desire to build – and sustain – a strong corporate reputation, you and your team would be wise to become people like Daniel, proving your determination to be trustworthy, diligent, and impeccably honest. As we read in another Old Testament book, “The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity” (Proverbs 11:3)
Copyright 2011, Integrity Resource Center, Inc. Adapted with permission from "Integrity Moments with Rick Boxx," a commentary on issues of integrity in the workplace from a Christian perspective. To learn more about Integrity Resource Center or to sign up for Rick’s daily Integrity Moments, visit www.integrityresource.org.