Character and Integrity at Work

There are metrics for measuring goals, P&L statements to show bottom-line profits and trophies to reflect triumph however, there is not a gauge to measure character and integrity -- central to creating a successful business with loyal employees while enjoying a respected reputation. These traits are felt rather than spoken.

"People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel," says author and poet Maya Angelou.

Others intuit honesty, integrity, truthfulness and feel the way they are regarded. Success is not determined by where we end up, it's about the journey ... and failure does not diminish effectiveness, it builds character.

Companies who enjoy robust reputations and possess impressive bottom lines are typically those whose leaders display strong work ethics. Leading with integrity, character and humor to help deflect tense situations, creates a positive work environment, builds trust and establishes open dialogue and effective communication. Aside from Ronald Reagan ... Arthur T. Demoulas and Dan Amos come to mind.

Market Basket's CEO Arthur T. Demoulas's thoughtful, caring ways together with his moral fiber, strong character, personal ethics and unwavering integrity inspired 25,000 steadfast loyal employees who risked their jobs and engaged in an innately-born open revolution to support him. His personal characteristics form the foundation of Mr. Demoulas's $4.6 billion company.

Strong leaders exhibit sound moral principles. Character, integrity and faith speak to the core of Dan Amos, CEO of Aflac, who has landed on Fortune's Most Admired Companies, 100 Best Companies to Work For list and World's Most Ethical Companies to name a few. These are soft measures acknowledging Amos's character, integrity and faith for which he is renowned. His philosophy: "Treat others the way they would like to be treated, not the way You want to be treated..." it's about them." It is said that failure is a stepping stone to success. "If you're not failing you're not taking enough risk therefore, don't limit the failures."

When workers feel their leader is invested in them and has their best interest at heart they will give 1000 percent and will do whatever it takes to help in the quest to 'reach the unreachable star.' True leaders have the ability to motivate employees to want to be a part of something greater than themselves and inspire them to rise to the occasion, especially in the face of adversity. Effective leaders inspire trust and others have an innate sense of who they are and work to the best of their ability to make it all come together. Acknowledgment through caring and accolades reflect the moral fiber and character of leadership.

Leading with character and integrity inspires company loyalty which breeds dedication, assures reputation and success. "Walk the talk" and don't be afraid to stand alone when it is right. Take the right moral ground.

Whether you're looking for a job or working toward a promotion, while technical skills are negotiable, character counts and integrity and work ethic is non-negotiable.

Judith Bowman, speaker and business protocol coach, is president and founder of Judith Bowman Enterprises and Author of "Don't Take the Last Donut and "How to Stand Apart @ work." She may be reached at