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INSPIRED: What any country needs: Honesty, Integrity, and Professionalism

LET us begin with the definition of terms, shall we? *Honesty: fairness and straightforwardness of conduct. *Integrity: the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness. *Professionalism: the competence or skill expected of a professional. And we ponder on this: *”The key to quality and efficiency is professionalism.” This will lead to progress. With a background in the finance industry, a comma or a zero would make or break my career. I was aware of that right from the beginning. If for example, I made a mistake of adding a zero, 1,000 could become 10,000. Daily, I was, literally, handling and checking bank cheques amounting by the millions. Moreover, I was processing salary and housing loan accounts among many other duties. Honesty is ingrained in our family. My Grandfather worked for the government and he did not even get a single bond paper for personal use. He was an engineer, and because he was a high ranking official he made sure all projects were conducted honestly. Even now, the roads built under his supervision are intact. Our family takes great pride in that, it is not arrogance but a reputation we keep and have maintained, consequently, the credibility and competence, our core values, resulted in three of our relatives in positions of honor and valor. I remember my Aunt said in a television interview, “her record is spotless.” Eventually, when I pursued working still in the corporate arena, I was honest and practiced integrity and professionalism. To illustrate the point, one fine and busy day, in the best performing office of the largest Telecommunications Company in the country. I was told that I made a mistake. I was accused that I mismanaged the funds for the prepaid service of the firm. I got that call mid-morning. I just told my Supervisor that it would be my last day. Because at the back of mind, I checked and not only double-checked every transaction but a few more times whenever I dealt with a client. I was willing to lose my high-paying job right then and there, because I was so sure I was getting the job done, efficiently and effectively, i.e. as fast as possible and done correctly. Lunchtime, I received another call from my Supervisor. She said one of the staff members found the money somewhere, “allegedly hidden,” and she asked me not to resign anymore and stay in the company. I stayed. Well, that is just me. That is my corporate record. Impeccable. And I am not imposing on anyone, it is merely a suggestion. The decision always depends upon each person. Free will. Furthermore, my expertise was also handling irate clients which I enjoyed tremendously. Imagine a raging volcano simmering down and becoming a peaceful valley. Whenever someone would leave a company it is always standard operating procedure for exit interviews. Now this is a bit funny, in my case, I would talk to my Supervisor, then the other Junior Managers, then the Senior Manager—then, finally—the Human Resources Manager. All of them, to make the long story short, asked me to stay in the company. Basically, they saw me, potentially, climbing the corporate ladder. I left to take care of my Father who was in his golden years. In the final analysis, that freedom we discussed earlier, came with a high price. While we have the power to choose, it is that compelling virtue in freedom that we ought to do what is right in the first place, for the simple reason of its intrinsic goodness. (*Merriam-Webster)

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