Some years ago, my wife had a long discussion on the issue of integrity – specifically how it relates to business. It was a very interesting conversation that led me to do a lot of soul searching. Can a person have two sets of principles and values, one for business and one for personal relationships? In the business world, you have to sometimes operate in a different fashion than how you deal with your personal relationships. Does that translate into having to different sets of values?
The answer is no but a complex no. From my perspective, you should only have one set of principles from which you operate in all cases. Nonetheless, these principles may be applied in very different ways. For example, I believe in honesty. When asked a direct question, I believe in giving a direct answer. Nonetheless, for some people you might get a clear cut answer. For others, they might get, “that is none of your business” or “I cannot give you an answer for that”. Either way, the answer is an honest one. At the end of the day, how you approach life and your relationships is completely relative to the situation or the person. But remember, apply your universal principles in every situation. It sounds like a contradiction, but it can be done. What do you think?