By Pat Henneberry
Pat Henneberry is president of consulting and sales training company The Jewelry Coach. Reach her at 512-203-3414, or on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.
My father had more integrity than anyone I’ve ever known.

He was a great leader, too, and he instilled his values in me. I’ve actually never considered not being honest, transparent or fair.

On the wall of my office, I have a plaque that reads: “Do what is right; let the consequence follow.” It serves as a daily reminder that success will indeed come and go, but integrity is forever.

Integrity in the workplace is the one value I believe to be most important; next in line would be transparency.

Leaders know that transparency and integrity are the foundations of good leadership. So why is it so hard at times for people to understand that?

Leaders with integrity and transparency may not be the most popular of leaders, but they don’t care.

Integrity means doing the right thing because it is the right thing to do, at all times and in all circumstances, whether anyone is watching or not.

It is a state of mind and is not situational. If you compromise your integrity in small situations with little consequences, then it becomes easy to compromise on larger matters.

We work in an industry where integrity isn’t talked about nearly enough. And we live in a world where “the end justifies the means” has become an acceptable school of thought for far too many for way too long.

People committing an act of dishonesty tell themselves they had a perfectly valid reason why the end result justified their lack of integrity. What they don’t realize is that profit in dollars or power is temporary, but profit in a network of people who trust you as a person or your company as an entity is forever.

Good leaders know this.

They keep their promises. Yes, they might make promises carefully, even reluctantly, but once they have sworn to something, they follow through without fail, and they always tell the truth.

Leaders with integrity also always err on the side of fairness, especially when other people are unfair. As a matter of fact, the true mark of leadership is how fair you can be when other people are treating you unfairly.

Anyone can be a good leader; you don’t have to be the CEO of a corporation or the chairperson of the board.

You can be a great sales associate and lead your colleagues, or you can be a great manager or storeowner. It just takes integrity, transparency and being fair—whether it’s with your customers or your team.

Trust me, it feels so much better to sell with integrity.

Pat Henneberry is president of consulting and sales training company The Jewelry Coach and an advocate for natural diamonds. Reach her at 512-203-3414, or on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

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