Integrity is all There is

Personal and professional integrity matter. They’re the most important gifts you can give yourself.

I’m reminded of this by an article I read today about a firm. I know a lot about this particular company. The article was, essentially, a marketing puff-piece, the kind of thing you read in a rag like the Puget Sound Business Journal. The news is always positive, everything’s great, and the future is so bright they have to wear shades. (Companies that go ventral fin up from poor strategy, execution, business models, marketing strategy, malfeasance, or outright stupidity never get written up.)

I expect spin from such articles. It’s OK. There’s a time and place for everything, including positioning a corporate brand or reputation, and spreading news about business opportunities.

But there’s a line you don’t cross. You don’t claim something that is not true. Period. Once you’ve done that, your credibility evaporates. Losing credibility is like losing privacy — once it happens, it’s awfully hard to restore. I have a long memory for negative-credibility moves, as do many (most?) others.

I counted three statements in this article that I know are false. A couple of others were borderline. I also know the company spokespeople interviewed in the article know they were false.

Such behavior is pathetic. Yeah, this is a hot button of mine.

Principles only mean something when you stick to them when it’s inconvenient.

– Laine Hanson, “The Contender”

Here’s a rule: Never lie. Never say something that’s not true. If you’d rather not talk about it, say that and move on.

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