Honour and integrity
No matter how you decided to start 2023, you were probably not prepared for any of the crises that our country is facing. A colossal trust issue is facing our leaders – not only in public practice but also in private practice.
As a leader, it’s essential to keep in mind that trust consists of three main characteristics: technical competence to perform a task reliably (ability), having pure motives (benevolence), and acting according to acceptable ethical principles such as transparency, fairness and honesty (integrity). By displaying these attributes consistently and credibly, trust is gained – but get it wrong, your (and your company’s) reputation will suffer.
Trust is remade – strengthened or undermined – during every encounter. And like individuals, a trustworthy organisation operates effectively, acts with due concern for the interest of its stakeholder, and conducts itself with integrity.
The list of those implicated in ‘not acting in good faith’ is growing, and the public is losing faith in leaders that are supposed to know better – to know not to sacrifice ethics and integrity in the quest for financial gain. The implications of this are clear … not just for businesses but for our entire country.
We believe that now, more than ever, our country needs responsible leaders who will not compromise their ethical standards for material gain. It is more evident than ever that we need trusted leaders with ethical fortitude to stand up and stand together to regain trust.
Our cover profile for this month probably needs no introduction. Jeff says that among the many life lessons he learned during his career is the value of honesty and integrity. He says: ‘Life is filled with temptations that come your way. It is incumbent on people in positions of authority to understand the responsibilities that we have and to live up to them with honour.’
Late in 2022, Jeff published his book about his life and journey, Unshackled: My journey from the township to the boardroom. This is a book all South Africans should read and be inspired by how he rose above his circumstances through hard work, determination, and opportunity. Read his story on page on page 8.
Have a blessed 2023!
Editor: Accountancy SA