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The Character-Driven Company:

Five Simple Rules To Help Yours Become One In 2014

By Dave Anderson

It is time to get serious about defining what your company stands for—and share those values with employees. There are five simple rules that every employee, from the top of the corporate ladder on down, should follow to ensure that they have rock-solid character next year:
Don’t Tell White Lies. We’re all guilty of telling a white lie or two. In fact, most of us do it on a daily basis and hardly even notice anymore! And while we may consider those little untruths to be harmless, consider that instructing your receptionist to tell a caller that you’re out of the office when you really aren’t is a reflection on your own character. White lies are still lies, after all.
Keep Your Commitments. Have you ever made a business promise that you didn’t keep? Perhaps you didn’t follow through with a promised promotion, or skipped out early on a day when you promised to work late. And given the past turbulent economy, it’s even more likely that you found yourself in a situation where your mouth wrote checks in the good times that your bank account can no longer cash. Cutting expenses is necessary and understandable, but breaking promises is not—even if it turns out to be more costly, inconvenient, or time-consuming than you estimated.
Go the Second Mile. One of the most common character flaws in leaders and their employees is that they do just enough to get by; they come to work and do just enough to get paid and just enough not to get fired. That’s not good enough. If the majority of people are doing only the minimum, then those who give just a little bit more of themselves will stand out and be highly valued—a great asset for any company or individual to have. So think about what you can do to go the extra mile each day.
Don’t Give False Impressions. When it comes to business, false impressions are everywhere. From misleading advertising campaigns to padded resumes, you won’t be hard pressed to find examples of people trying to make others believe things are better than they really are. You must be upfront and honest with those you work with, or you may lose your credibility and build up bitterness and resentment in a once-valuable business relationship. Think about the ways that you or your company may be misleading others, and find ways to stop it.
Reconcile and Forgive Immediately. Holding grudges is a common and unfortunate consequence of competitive business. Resentment builds up when employees leave organizations, mistakes are made, or when coworkers feel slighted. This is an appropriate time of year to take an inventory of grudges you may be nursing, people you’re resenting, and those with whom you must reconcile. It doesn’t matter how far back the offense was. If you’re carrying it around, it’s affecting your performance, whether you realize it or not.
Dave Anderson is president of Dave Anderson’s Learn to Lead and author of “If You Don’t Make Waves, You’ll Drown."
Submitted 10 years 228 days ago
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