Model the characteristics you want your business and employees to have.

5. Honesty Few things can hurt a business relationship as badly as one person having a hidden agenda. Honesty isn’t just about lying: it’s about misrepresenting the facts and withholding information too. Don’t keep relevant parties out of the loop.

4. Care Sometimes, you just don’t care about others. There are other, more pressing matters on your plate. You are too busy. Or, you just don’t have enough of an investment in someone to care about them. These excuses are insufficient. Think about the way you treat your clients. No matter how tired, cranky, or preoccupied you may be, you always make it a point to be kind and understanding. You apologize when you haven’t been this way. Why not extend that courtesy to your employees? You might argue that you have a clear financial interest in making customers believe you care. If you think you’re employees are not equally as important, you need to take a good long look at a book.

3. Motivation The best way to motivate others is to be motivated yourself. Just trying to succeed can take you a long way. It’s difficult to shape the attitudes of your company culture, but being motivated yourself can change the culture.

2. Humility The ability to admit when you’re wrong is an invaluable asset in business. Being aware of your own limitations can prevent you from making foolish mistakes. Humility also entails respect for other people.

1. Integrity This is the single most important character quality of a good business owner. Without integrity, someone with all of the other qualities on this list will run into trouble. Commitment to ethical business practices is essential. Integrity can also correct some other wrongs. People without integrity cannot expect respect from others.

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