Honesty and integrity are by far the most important assets of an entrepreneur. – Zig Ziglar
Have you ever noticed that being honest to others seems like a no-brainer, but we can justify being dishonest with ourselves without hesitation? Honest about your knowledge of a certain subject, realistic about your competency with a particular job, or transparent enough to admit your mistakes.
Being honest exposes ourselves to the reality of what is going on around us. It’s where the phrase “calling it like it is” comes from, and those who can be real with themselves and their business on a daily basis are bound for success.
Here are some examples of why transparency is so valuable:
First and foremost, being honest with yourself and your business will develop personal accountability. Personal accountability is the intangible you need to build your business from the inside out: if you pull all the strings of your business, then you have all the power to make it succeed.
Zig Ziglar said, "You must manage yourself before you can lead someone else.” I
It strikes at the heart of what transparency brings to the table for your business. Once you develop accountability within yourself you can begin encouraging the same standard in others. Soon enough, your team will be full of honest and hard-working employees who call it like it is.
You Learn About Yourself
Another great attribute of transparency is that you can learn how you react in stressful situations, when the chips are down and someone needs to take accountability. Is it going to be you? Maybe it should be in certain situations, but it could also be someone else who needs to step forward.
Being open and honest makes it easier for you to see where things went wrong, and furthermore, what you can do to prevent it from happening again. It also helps you get an idea of how much actual work it takes to execute a given project.
What about when things are going well?
Success should be greeted with the same kind of ruthless honesty at play when times are tough. A successful sales campaign deserves plenty of a rewards, congratulations, and analysis. Part of being transparent is acknowledging the success of others, giving them the plaudits they deserve, and learning from others.
All too often businesses see accountability as a way to explain away their mistakes. It should be the other way around. A culture of accountability within your business will strengthen teamwork, and teams need to stick together in the good times and the bad.
Gives You a Chance to Improve
Nothing helps you with personal self-development as much as making mistakes. Everyone makes them, but it’s those who can learn from them that flourish in the world of business. When you are honest about what you did (or did not) do, you have just taught yourself how to avoid making the same mistake in the future.
It might be hiring someone without calling all of their references, or giving someone more responsibility because you don’t have the time. If these decisions lead to problems down the road, at least you can rectify them and strengthen your operating procedure going forward.
Psychological Growth Will Produce Business Success
A lot of people start out in the business world with some naivety. They may think they have what it takes to make a million in the first year of their business - but does it happen? Usually not.
A vast majority of success stories come from people that have failed over and over again before finding a niche that works for them and succeeding. Do these success stories look back in anger on their failed business ventures? Absolutely not.
Ask anyone in business about the trials and tribulations they faced in the early days and they will say it was the adversity they needed to learn about themselves and develop the character required to make a business that succeeds in the long-term.