Integrity Matters

I've been accused of being too honest. One of things I'm famous for saying is "I'm going to tell on you. Do you want to go with me or wait here until I get back?" It's what I've said many times when others have crossed what I believe to be my invisible ethical line. Once I served on a jury that had been deliberating a case for about a week. Most of the evidence indicated that the defendant was guilty but there was this lingering doubt in all of our minds that something didn't add up. It seemed that the plaintiff had more to do with the crime than she let on.

When it appeared that we might be deadlocked, one of my fellow jurors stood up and addressed the group. He said that he was tired; concerned that he might lose his job if we didn't reach a decision soon and began to encourage the group to find the defendant guilty so we could get out of there by close of business. Now, I too was tired. There were no judicial officials in the room, the tags on my vehicle had expired while I was in court; and since I'm self employed, I was losing money for each day that we continued to deliberate. However, I wasn't too tired to give the case my full and undivided attention. His concept of finding the defendant guilty wasn't in the slightest bit tempting to me. We were talking about sending a human being to jail for a crime that we weren't sure he committed. I couldn't go to sleep at night knowing that I had made a decision about someone else's life based on the fact that I was fed up. So, being the jury foreperson that I was, I asked the group to disregard his comments and continue to deliberate the case. When he persisted, I said those famous words..."I'm going to tell on you. Do you want to go with me or wait here until I get back?" Well, you can imagine he wasn't too pleased with my statement but when it was all said and done, we got back to the business of deliberating.

Take a Stand

Someone once said if you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything. I believe in standing up for what's right, even if it means my decision won't be a popular one. I am not afraid of what people might think of my decision to do what's right, which is why I offered my fellow juror the opportunity to accompany me to an authoritative source once I made my decision.

Too often business owners find themselves in a position of deciding between making a sale and doing what's right. When I started Ex Nihilo I established a set of values that would govern the way we conduct business. We are committed to providing professional services with a commitment to:

Honesty
Integrity
Professionalism
Quality
Continuous Improvement

It felt good to have a solid basis for decision making. Those values were tested within our first year of business, and it meant walking away from a client that was offering follow-on business at rates that were very profitable for us. The ability to make honest, professional decisions has been one of the most satisfying facets of owning my own business.

I don't know what ultimately happened to that defendant. We found him not guilty on some of the charges and we finished deliberating by close of business that day.