The value of integrity
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It's 5.45am and I rush to grab one of the last bikes left. I pedal furiously, my heart is pumping and soon my legs are fatiguing. I wonder why I put myself through this.
I am of course in the cycle class at my gym, and I do it to try and keep some resemblance of my past fitness. I'm lucky these days if I make it twice a week to the gym, and today is one of those days.
As I begin to sweat, my thoughts wander to the devastating announcements in the media this week about Lance Armstrong.
I didn't want to believe it. Months ago there was mention of Armstrong being a cheat. This week we hear it's true. He's not only a cheat and a liar, he's a calculating one. He's been cheating for years, using illegal performance enhancing drugs to win. He has now been stripped of his seven Tour de France titles, seven! And barred for life... and this is not all he's lost.
He has lost his integrity.
To me, integrity is the most important of virtues. This is what we all strive to build over our lives. So what is the true value of integrity?
Integrity is defined as a concept of consistency of actions, values, methods, measures, principles, expectation and outcomes. In ethics, integrity is regarded as the honesty and truthfulness of one's actions.
While I pedal and push through my cycle class, I think of how important integrity is to our business, Property Bloom. As property development project managers, our word and action, our honesty and principles are the pillars of our business. Our clients rely on us to manage their development in a professional way; they are really hiring our ethics. It's not a tangible thing, but it's so important.
Unfortunately in the past, the world of property developing has been tarred with the same brush as Armstrong by some unethical and unprofessional operators. But there are many reputable and worthy businesses that are genuine. We consider ourselves to be one. All we want is the best outcome for our clients, and we strive for this in every step of our process.
There are months of preparation that go into a property development, sometimes years on larger developments. Perhaps somewhat like the preparation needed for the Tour de France. By the time we actually start building – or start our race – we've done mountains of preparation.
We have to get out of the saddle and push up some challenging hills, recovering from these and solving issues is what we do every day.
Our finish line is the day our clients walk over their completed development and we've found them tenants, delivered depreciation schedules and had the valuations completed. Our "race statistics" are the numbers we present in the form of equity and savings we've been able to make the clients and the yield they've achieved.
But our spraying of the French champagne comes when everything is completed and our clients are looking to do their next project.
So I find myself dreaming of Bollinger being sprayed in a celebratory way (actually, it's a real waste of good champagne!), then I'm rudely bought back to reality by the shouts of my instructor telling me to change gear and go harder. She's not telling me to take drugs, she's coaching me to be the best I can, naturally, That's all I need, some stern encouragement.
So that's what I do in my class and then later in my day. Go hard in the highest of integrities, in the way I know best.This story first appeared on Property Observer