Episode 6 Leading with Integrity and Ethics

Michelle:

Thank you for joining Episode 6 of our Season 2 of the Reboot Program. Doing what is right is not an easy subject to talk about but this is what’s asked of us if we would like to develop the skills for leadership. In this episode, Gabe Baradi talks about how to lead with integrity and ethics.

Gabe:

The challenges of Covid-19 brought demands for integrity on the part of the service provider, which to customers is represented by the frontliners. Everyone, both employee and customer, wants to feel safe as we go back to work and into our stores. We need to ensure that we are creating the safest environment we can for everyone. Every local government and industry will have specific regulations about how to protect employees and their customers. If we take shortcuts with these safety measures, we risk more than just customer dissatisfaction, we risk everyone’s safety, including our own. 

In a recent management study, both employees and employers ranked integrity in the top three of the most important leadership characteristics. Integrity is the foundation of great leadership. Being a leader with integrity means doing the right thing. How we behave as we serve others shows our true character as self-leaders. 

What is integrity and ethics? Integrity is the practice of being honest and consistently demonstrating strong moral and ethical values. Ethics are the moral principles that are considered good for individuals and society. 

Integrity is also staying true to one’s commitments. Individuals or even a company or organization can show integrity by declaring what they stand for and then doing what they promised. 

Here are 3 ways how we can lead with Integrity and Ethics:

  1. Be Honest. Since we were young, we were always taught to be honest by our family and teachers. The reasons why honesty was important may have been unknown to us as children, but it is especially important now that we are working adults. When we are dishonest with our colleagues and employer, they will lose their trust and respect for us. We could even lose our job. When we establish a transparent and inclusive communication with colleagues and customers, they learn to trust what we say, but that trust is tested based on the actions we show.

    When we sell our products or services, it is part of our job to deliver what we promise. When we are dishonest with customers, or we do not deliver as committed, they will feel disrespected and will lose trust with the company we represent. You may know a few people who do not care about their job and employer, and do not care about serving customers well. To those employees, whether the company loses one or 10 or 100 customers, they still do not care, they still get to go to work. Since we’re talking about honesty, here’s the truth, Covid-19 changed all of that. If you are able to go back to work, every customer coming back is a chance for you to stay on the job. The cost of losing one customer during this crisis could mean more uncertainty for any business. If we care about our work, our team, and our employer, the best way to show this is to take care of our customers. 

    Part of being honest is also knowing what our values and goals are. This is where our self-awareness will come into practice as we talked about in Episode 1 of Season 2. We need to define what our values are, and see how we are aligned with our company values and goals. Knowing these will help us stay on the right path as we perform our daily work.
     
  2. Stay Consistent and Follow through. It is not enough to tell the truth, or to know what values and goals to have, we must do the right things consistently. Our actions at work and at home need to be aligned with what we value and what we want to achieve. We cannot be a different person at work from the version of us at home. When we fail to do something that we promised or what is expected of us, we lose the trust of the people counting on us. When we tell our colleague that we will perform a work task, we need to be sure to get it done. Working on something is different from getting it done. This pandemic calls on people who are results-oriented, not task-oriented, who feel that work is simply making themselves busy. We need to deliver results so we can all survive and overcome the challenges. When we promise a customer that we will contact them when their desired item or service is available, we need to get back to them in a timely manner. The more consistent we are in following through with what we said we will do, the more reliable we are and the people around us will trust us and follow our lead. A person cannot follow someone who they cannot fully trust, and trust is built because of consistent habits and actions shown.
     
  3. 3. Take Ownership and Be Accountable. In Episode 2 of Season 2, we talked about taking ownership of our actions. Ownership means taking the initiative to perform the tasks that need to be done at work. When we wait for other people to tell us what to do, we are not being the best possible frontliner we can be. We need to remember that to succeed as a service professional and as a company, we need to offer our best service to our customers. Success will come to those who take the initiative, act fast, and solve problems of customers and their company.

If ownership means taking the initiative, being accountable happens when you take responsibility for the results of your actions. Because we are responsible for certain tasks and outcomes, we are motivated by the responsibilities that we have accepted. We show accountability by sticking to our commitment to get the job done with a high level of quality. When we fail at a task, we are honest to take responsibility for the mistake, and we make sure that we learn from this so that it does not happen again. In Season 1, we talked about Humility in Episode 3 and Trust in Episode 6. These are all related values that will help us practice these skills consistently. 

This pandemic has claimed many lives and has brought painful challenges for many people and businesses. Covid-19 is a crisis on human life, and we are all survivors still trying our best to survive the uncertainty ahead. The best thing we can do right now is to be the kind of person we can be proud of, who is the same person our loved ones and our employer would be proud to have on their side. A person with integrity is someone who will always sleep peacefully at night no matter what challenges come. See you in our next episode. 

 

Michelle: 

We would like to end this episode with a few questions to help you practice what Gabe shared with us: 

  • What are your top 3 challenges in serving customers at work?
  • What is that one thing you feel would help you be better at staying consistent in serving customers?
  • Is customer service an area that you feel you could still do better? 

Our next episodes will focus on customer service and selling skills and how you can apply them at work. 

If you reached this episode, you’ve gone a long way. Many people think that it’s a simple job to work as a service frontliner. It’s not. We are in the people industry where our work is solving customers’ problems daily. Those who become very good at this kind of work learned it the hard way, and you will too but this Reboot program helps you understand the WHYs and the HOWs. None of what we covered are easy to do because it takes real commitment to learn new skills and to practice them daily so they become habits. This Reboot series is our gift to you from our years of experience studying and understanding frontliners and customers. We hope this helps you find more meaning and purpose in your work in the service industry. 

If you have questions about this episode, please visit the Reboot website and send me a message. Thank you for joining