Saturday, July 22, 2006

Inspiring Ethics & Integrity

In May of this year I had experienced an epiphany while talking on the phone with AuctionZip's Co-Founder, Steve Johnson, about the challenges we auctioneers face in running a successful auction business or any business for that matter. Steve was telling me a story about how he had overcome some adverse situations regarding some newspaper editors who would not allow AuctionZip's members to mention the name of in advertisements placed in their publications. Through the course of the conversation, I believe we both had the simultaneous realization about perhaps the biggest reason why businesses succeed or fail. It comes right down to ETHICS & INTEGRITY. Those people operating without ethics and integrity most often choose to operate from fear. As a result, they are misguided by this emotion and suffer in most areas of their lives.

Although passion, drive, motivation, experience and earning money all play major roles in the success of any business, sometimes as we know it's just not enough. How do we overcome those challenges we face daily in our business? How do we deal with those who choose to attack our personal and or business reputations? Many, if not all, of us have had to deal to with these very unpleasant situations, and I feel that it is our personal ethics and integrity that gives us purpose and meaning in carrying us successfully through life's trials and tribulations.

In Victor Frankel's autobiographical book, "Man's Search for Meaning" he discusses how he survived being interned as a Jew in a Nazi concentration camp. His realization was that everyday he found something worthwhile and meaningful in each day. Now there's an epiphany! Finding meaning in daily living gives us the drive to go on. Perhaps as Auctioneers we can institute our own personal ethics and integrity as the predominant reason why we continue to exist and survive in the business world?

Ethics and integrity allows us to remain strong. With ethics and integrity we do not need to go down to the least common denominator when dealing with those who challenge us. Ethics and integrity allows us to provide service above and beyond the call of duty. Ethics and integrity means we don't need to worry about rumors and untruths, as we rest confidently in our accomplishments and our established good reputations. Ethics and integrity means that we would offer a hand to the man that is down, rather than climbing on his back to get to the top. Put out good, and you will get good in return. This is a fact!

Steve really had inspired me in that conversation. Truthfully, it was a wake-up call! Even though I consider myself to be a man of integrity, I had realized that I have acted out of fear many times in the past. As FDR once said, "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." Ethics and integrity may not be a panacea, but they certainly are wonderful guideposts to what I believe is the key to running a successful business and living life more productively and peacefully.

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