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The gentlemen’s agreement. Is it lost?

My father ran a successful business for more than 35 years, he did it on honesty and respect. He didn’t have to advertise as word of mouth was all that was needed and the word spread well. Businesses trusted my father and he reinforced it through honesty. They knew where they stood.

I remember attending some of the meetings with my dad in school holidays as a young teenager, and observed my Dad go from a manufacturing business to a large scale smash repairs in his suit without skipping a beat. Each time I can still recall the genuine handshakes that he was party to. He spoke, they spoke and most times a gentlemen’s agreement was entered, integrity was needed. Paperwork came later (in the post or fax!) but each side knew where they stood. My father was part of their business and aided them in their endeavours.

It is now, in a new role myself, that I (think) I am wise enough to start seeing the real value of how my father carried himself throughout his career. He was honest, fair and reasonable in what he asked of these people, and in return they got that back. From the first meeting (in person no doubt) that he interacted with a client, the bond was set.

When I find myself in a challenging position, I naturally gravitate back to those interactions my father allowed me to witness. I go and SEE the person. I speak my mind when it is applicable, I am honest with them and aim to be fair in all scenarios. I hope that I am consistent with these values and lead by example – so my team also embraces this approach.

The gentlemen’s agreement can be a powerful thing and when stated openly, fairness shines through from both sides. It is something I feel strongly about, and it’s probably why I ended up at Kiandra IT, the company values the same transparent approach and I know that there are a great number of people out there eager to have this handshake with us.