Many business people follow the adage, “the end justifies the means”. True success in business isn’t easy and, due to capitalistic mindsets, many do whatever it takes to get ahead. Integrity is an integral part of business that not everyone follows. That being said, the martial arts are rooted in integrity. Without integrity, martial arts can merely become combative exercises; definitely not what we’re in this for.
While your success as a martial arts business is paramount, you can’t do it without integrity. Here is our breakdown of integrity in martial arts success.
Integrity in Business
Integrity encompasses a lot of martial arts principles. Respect and moral code have a lot to do with integrity and - whether it’s dealing with your customers, staff, prospects or competitors - respect and morality should always be up front. Following through with what you say you will do is another large part of integrity in business and will be key to your martial arts success. Your reputation is a large aspect of how people perceive you and your martial arts business. Remember: your actions speak much louder than words do.
Importance of Integrity
Building relationships and a community is the only way a business can reach a high level of success (see Seth Godin’s talk on Tribes: his view of community). No matter what you do to build that community, without trust, relationships start to crumble. As we mentioned earlier, your reputation has a lot to do with your martial arts success. Because of this, building and maintaining trust is incredibly important. Integrity must start at the top. Ensure ownership, masters and seniors are all on the same page with their integrity and it should become the heart and soul of your organization.
Ensuring a High Level of Integrity
The first thing is to respect everyone, no matter who they are. Respect your customers, by providing them with a high level of martial arts training and by sticking to your word. Respect your staff members, by treating them fairly and allowing them to flourish whenever possible. Respect your prospects, by marketing to them in an honest and truthful way. Respect your competitors, by never speaking poorly of them, even if they do towards you. The last one is probably the most difficult one to achieve, as many competitors can get insecure with rival student enrolments. Stay respectful and people will take notice.
One aspect of integrity in business that many tend to overlook is the commitment of value to your customers. While it is impossible to please everyone, it is imperative that you do all you can as a martial arts business owner to meet your customer’s expectations on the quality of the education they are receiving. This is obviously easier said than done, but your efforts here are vital for success. If a customer is unhappy, make sure you do all you can to repair the damage. If a customer is being unreasonable, never engage in a dispute with them. Worse comes to worst, agree to disagree, and part ways in a respectful manner.
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