Do the right thing. That phrase seems obvious, right?!? And generally, it is. There is a common set of rules most of us tend to live by: treat others the way you want to be treated; act with integrity; conduct your business and personal life in an ethical way. That’s the easy stuff. Oftentimes, this concept is listed as a core value, or within the mission/purpose of an organization.
At Gibson, it is one of our deeply held core values. We define it this way: Do the Right Thing. Pursue truth. Be worthy of trust. Come from a place of selflessness.
Pursue Truth. Truly living out this core value requires seeking the truth and being honest with yourself and others. In some instances, it can lead to difficult conversations. When someone on the team is struggling and fails to see their blind spots, do you ignore it or do you approach that person with kind candor? What about when you are the one who needs a healthy dose of honesty? Are you open to acknowledging your own shortcomings and receiving constructive feedback?
While I don’t know anyone who enjoys owning up to their imperfections, when you are committed to doing the right thing, this is non-negotiable. Doing the right thing means holding your team accountable and being held accountable.
Be worthy of trust. Trust sits at the core of every relationship. When you have trusting relationships, doing the right thing, even when it’s uncomfortable, can be received in a positive way. Your words and your actions will either build or erode trust. Winston Churchill famously said, “I no longer listen to what people say, I just watch what they do. Behavior never lies.”
Saying the “right thing” is effortless. Doing the right thing requires acting with the greater good in mind.
Come from a place of selflessness. This one isn’t always easy, but it is always necessary. Are you able to set your ego aside for the betterment of the team? Are you concerned with being right versus getting it right? We all battle ourselves internally from time to time regarding our own wants and needs, but doing the right thing necessitates that we think and act beyond ourselves. And yes, sometimes it means admitting when you have made a mistake, or when you have been wrong.
Do the Right Thing. Pursue truth. Be worthy of trust. Come from a place of selflessness. Sometimes it is the uncomfortable choice, but it is never the wrong choice.