Recently, I asked my 6 year old niece what it means to be honest. Not surprisingly, she responded by saying that honesty is “not telling a lie.” She, of course, is correct. I think we are all taught at an early age that we should not lie and that we should always tell the truth. Words are important in demonstrating honesty. In addition to not lying, other examples of honesty can be describing actions that we took, admitting mistakes, and explaining how a given situation actually occurred. However, this is only part of what honesty is all about. To get the full picture, we need to think of honesty both in terms of what we say as well as how we act. To focus solely on the spoken word may give us a false sense of accomplishment in this area.
Probably the bigger challenges from an honesty standpoint are in the actions that we take. Being honest means doing the right thing. We use the phrase at Lewis of “Job Done Right.” This phrase has many meanings, not the least of which is being honest in our dealings with co-workers, customers, vendors, and the public that we come in contact with. It means not hiding the truth, not breaking rules to gain an advantage, not taking something that isn't ours and any other action that we would hide because it goes against “Job Done Right.”
When we consider honesty as it relates to safety, it should look like reporting incidents timely and factually regardless of what may be at stake, as well as taking a through inventory of our actions and commitment as leaders and co- workers. Am I a promoter and example of safety? Do I search for what I own when a failure occurs under my direction?
Jon Huntsman, Sr. wrote a book called Winners Never Cheat. In this book, he states:
“There are no moral shortcuts in the game of business or life. There are, basically, three kinds of people - the unsuccessful, the temporarily successful, and those who become and remain successful. The difference is character.”
I would suggest the quote above can apply to not only people, but businesses as well. In order for us to be successful and remain successful, we must stick to our core Operating Principles, including our focus for this blog – Honesty.
As Benjamin Franklin famously once said, “Honesty is the best policy.”