If you asked me what is the one thing you hate the most, I’d tell you without a doubt Dishonesty.
Yes, I like to surround myself with clever people and makers & doers rather than the average public servant. Yes, I like to have ambitious people around me, go-getters, people who have a vision and who want to live life on their own terms. Maybe freedom fighters?
I like people with a good story. During my trip to Barcelona I met a guy who had a car chase with the Spanish secret service a few years ago. That was a hell of a story!
But if I had to choose just one thing that I absolutely value and require from any person I spend more than 5 seconds with. Just one thing. It would be honesty. Integrity would be in second place.
Today I had one of those rare situations in my life when I was seriously shocked by the dishonesty of people.
In the past I’ve had a business partner and friend, who I had known for over a decade and who I had made a ton of money with, turn around and completely deceive me in our final project. It cost me a lot of time, money and energy. I was shocked to the level that my entire believe in the honesty and integrity of human beings was being questioned.
In the same project, another person who I had met on multiple occasions and invested a lot of time, energy and money into, also deceived me.
Since then I’ve had dozens of people wanting to work on projects with me, but I am still very sceptical about partnering-up with others since those two people deceived me that much.
In my current company, I’ve had a fair amount of team members working for me in a variety of roles. Some of them stayed in the team for longer and others left after a short while.
The reasons could be anything – they didn’t like the job and expected something else; I didn’t like their quality of work; they moved on in their lives; it was only meant to be a short-term gig; they grew out of the position and they felt like changing companies helps them to grow further; they didn’t develop fast enough.
There are probably a million reasons why someone might stay longer or shorter at a company.
So far, we’ve only had two instances where team members have been dishonest. However, both times they have done more than just stretching the truth a bit. They have actively hurt the company and were well aware of that, too.
Every time this happens it shocks me to the core. It’s one thing trying to make an extra buck by cheating, but putting the company’s (and your colleagues’) well-being and future at risk is another thing. And that, I won’t accept.
I try to create a harmonic and exciting team culture and be a friendly team leader, but that probably also makes me more vulnerable than your average boss.
To more honesty!