The best way to find an honest person whom you can trust, is to select an ethical person and trust them first with small tasks to see how they will perform. Then increase the assignments incrementally until they reach their capacity or grow exponentially with you.
In business and in life, you want to avoid people who are dishonest, disloyal and/or disrespectful.
No one can teach a grown person to be honest. But you can measure the level of integrity in others based on a few irregularities such as their personal beliefs, their present condition in life, their background, the amount of money at stake and so many other variables.
So how can you find, attract and grow with an honest person out there?
Well, start by interviewing a lot of qualified people. (Qualified based on their resume) Interview even those whom you think you know or have dealt with in the past. Watch them and listen to them carefully for any inconsistencies.
Then select the one who has a history of getting the job done in a friendly, accurate, complete, timely, safe, strategic and profitable manner. Verify their background and check their references including dates reflected on their resume. The most important thing is to establish a clear record of their past performance in handling people, projects and budgets.
You will only truly get to know someone when there is money involved.
Find out how they have handled past personal misfortunes and any business/monetary losses involving: an employer, a partner, a family member, and/or a group of investors. (Run their credit report to verify how they handled their own finances).
While people evolve through time and change based on their financial status and other events that occur in their lives, their core character and how they react to money, to other people and how they approach work, in general, remain the same. Their personality becomes even magnified and their peculiarities get more dramatized over time. (Most people get emotional about money, they do not work well with others, and tend to get frustrated easily when faced with a big work load or a huge problem.)
The way they’ve handled past challenges, will not only reveal their character, but will also help you predict their future behavior---- especially when the going gets tough, which usually happens when you are building or growing a business.
If you are able to verify and establish that the person has been honest and may work well with you based on their past record of good performance and results, then prepare a written Agreement. The Agreement should include an outline of responsibilities and duties based on the goals and expectations you have of them before you hire them or go into business with them.
Make sure you go over the Agreement with them to gain their commitment on the vision and the guidelines of checks and balances regarding who will do what, how, when, where, why and for how much.
It is work in progress so their flexibility is expected to any changes or additions going forward.
The goal is to cover a 3-Step formula that I created a while back to establish a basic set of guidelines with some checks and balances:
1) Clarify and assign the work duties
- Set up rules:
Policies, procedures and monitoring systems (This is to clarify responsibilities, duties and the methods that will be used to measure the performance and expected results).
2) Supervise and adjust to improve
- Set up rewards:
Recognition, incentives and bonuses (You must inspect what you expect and incentivize them to grow and contribute).
3) Follow up and correct any deviations
- Set up penalties:
Reprimands, punishments and punitive actions (You must act fast regarding any downtrend and correct it. If you've provided the training, direction, tools and support but they are not getting the desired results, then, review and see if they are unaware, unable, untrained or simply defiant. Then if they are good and honest try to work with them to eliminate their bad behavior but if they are dishonest, disrespectful or disloyal, then just eliminate them all together for non-performance or non-compliance especially if you have given them a fair chance to improve).
After you do the proper, and full due diligence, to hire or work with an honest person (based on their background and history), you must still set up the proper structure to enforce ethics and high performance.
Trust is only built overtime. If you don’t create the set of guidelines, ways to measure and supervise diligently, you may run the risk of having even an honest person succumb to some deviant behavior that could be costly for everyone.
It is hard to find an ethical, intelligent and energetic person to work with, but nothing is easy and in the long run, if you can build trust and momentum with the right people, you will grow together and eventually contribute a lot more to the greater good.