Early on at CTR Partners, we made the decision to be a company that operates under a set of core values. We created a list of qualities that are important to our business and made them the standard by which we measure our work at CTR. If something we’re doing doesn’t match up with our values, then we stop and reconsider what we’re doing. That’s how important that list of core values is to our business.
At the top of that list is integrity. The dictionary gives one definition of integrity as “the state of being whole and undivided.” And that’s exactly how we want to run our business at CTR Partners. We want to be a united front—a group of people all committed to doing the right thing in every situation. It’s our goal to have every person on our team represent the same values and treat all of our clients the same way. And we believe that operating with this sense of unwavering integrity is what sets us apart in our industry.
In this business—or really any business for that matter—people don’t always choose honesty first. When it’s about making more money, closing a deal, or seeing a gain for your business, the temptation is always there to do whatever it takes to make that happen—even if whatever it takes isn’t necessarily the right thing. But when you’re operating out of what’s best for your client rather than what’s best for you or your business, the story changes. It becomes about doing what’s right—what’s honest—no matter the potential cost.
For several years we worked with a client with whom we developed a close relationship. We guided them through several lease negotiations and the construction of a building, developing a great working relationship along the way. But as they underwent some changes in their leadership, a new officer in their company opted to bring in someone he knew to look into their real estate needs. This new real estate representative came up with a list of things he found in the lease that, according to him, we at CTR Partners had failed to provide. And as result, the client was contemplating leaving our firm and partnering with this new representative.
Rather than get frustrated or throw out our own set of accusations, our team asked ourselves one question: “How can we approach this with integrity?” We went back over that original lease with a detailed eye, auditing it and providing them with all our notes and exchanges throughout the negotiation process to show them that all the things being questioned were things we did in fact attempt to provide. And then we left it at that. We wanted them to know that no matter what their decision was, at the work provided by CTR Partners had been done with honesty and integrity. And you know what happened? We got a call a few weeks later from that client to thank us for our honesty and let us know they were sticking with us at CTR.
Of course that isn’t always the case. In fact, we’ve opted to part ways or not work with clients at times when we’ve felt like integrity wasn’t at play in their companies. And even though it might mean the loss of a potentially big deal for us, it’s the right thing to do. Because at CTR Partners, we value integrity. We’re going to do what we’re called to do and trust that the risk will be worth the reward.