Perhaps no place in the world has a collection of events spaces as unique and sustainable as Singapore, which has a well-earned reputation as one of the world’s best places for tradeshow success.
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|Honesty, Integrity still admired in tradeshow industry|
|Written by David Cizmar|
|Thursday, September 03 2009 08:53|
The other day I saw a sign posted by one of the major contractors that encouraged everyone to stick to the core values of honesty and integrity. I'd like to think they are doing it for the good of society, but the cynics among us might suggest the real reason is because they're concerned that dishonest behavior could cut into profits.
I'll take the naive approach and assume they have the best motives, although I'm reminded that corporations haven't had the best track record in that area recently. The obvious dilemma is how to instill a sense of honesty and integrity in someone if they don't already have it? Certainly slogans aren't going to have much of an impact on someone if they have survived and perhaps even prospered from unscrupulous behavior.
Integrity and honesty are concepts, which are usually instilled by your parents, and the example they set for you. Often we speak of honesty as an either/or proposition, either you have it or you don't. I choose to look at it as a gradient with varying amounts in the population.
Others have very little, but there are some things even they won't do; however, they will compromise their principles if the price is right. Lastly, another group maintains a firm adherence to the principles of right and wrong, even if it is achieved at great personal cost, which is often the case.
For those who are borderline, there is a great temptation to compromise principles especially if there are blatant examples of those who have profited from doing so. We often receive mixed messages. Society tells us to be honest and at the same time we worship wealth and power. Often the quickest path is in direct conflict with the ideals we've been taught.
Society changed in the 1980s, and the mantra "greed is good" became a way of rationalizing the rejection of ideals this country was founded on. Quick results and the vulgar display of wealth was the definition of a person's self worth. They claimed honesty, integrity and compassion were obsolete and an obstacle to success if you are burdened by ethics but others aren't.
If someone is defined by the appearance of success to others, than the validation from total strangers is more important than belief in yourself, and that gives others too much power over the happiness which should come from within. They alone determine if you feel worthy, and by doing this you are acknowledging their superiority over you. This insecurity can make people do many things that make more confident people recoil in horror.
Lately, a lot of problems in our economy have surfaced because some individuals have attempted to achieve success without the effort necessary to do it appropriately. Banking scandals, sub-prime real estate fraud and irrational swings in Wall Street have destroyed the financial peace of mind of innocent victims because we've abandoned time-honored ways of achieving the same goals.
Bernie Madoff is the latest poster child for this type of dishonesty, and the scale of his misconduct is truly mind boggling. The extent of the fraud is the issue, because he couldn't have pulled this off for so long without accomplices to enable it.
There were warning signs but people looked the other way because they were all making money. Now everyone wants to blame him as if he were the only guilty party, yet only a chump could believe he alone was responsible for a crime of this magnitude. The sad truth is there another Bernie Madoff waiting in the wings to do the same thing until we put our priorities in order and readjust our thinking.
Some might ask "What does this have to do with the tradeshow business?" Everything. And that sign on the show floor tells me I'm not the only one who recognizes it. It would be nice to think that everyone we come into contact with has impeccable integrity but human history tells us a different story. It would be nice to think we could trust our fellow human beings, but the sad fact is we need to protect ourselves against the avarice that lurks in the twisted minds of certain people.
This is the reason we put locks on our doors, not because all people are bad but because a few are.