CFOs, Authenticity, and Integrity

Did you know the motto of the State of North Carolina speaks directly to authentic branding.

Esse quam videri
(To be, rather than to seem)

To actually be … rather than to merely seem to be … specifically, virtuous.

The phrase is from a much longer Latin sentence, but the translation is …

“Fewer possess virtue than those who wish us to believe that they possess it. The fact is that fewer people are endowed with virtue than wish to be thought to be so. Not nearly so many people want actually to be possessed of virtue as want to appear to be possessed of it. The numbers of the really virtuous are not so great as they appear to be.”

A lack of integrity – or virtue – seems to be almost the norm these days. Just last week, there was an article about the Alberta Health Services CFO who was fired after hundreds of thousands of dollars of expense reports (146 claims totaling $346,208 filed over a period of 3 years), were uncovered. We hear these stories every day.

What might such stories have to do with CFOs and authentic branding? Well in this day and age, everything. Virtue. Integrity. Ethics. Things that, while extremely valuable, unfortunately seem to be in increasingly short supply these days. So if you HAVE integrity, and EXUDE integrity, because INTEGRITY is a CORE VALUE … you might find your marketability on the rise.

If integrity is learned behavior, it can be bought or sold at any time and apparently for almost any price. However, when integrity is a core value, even the thought of violating that value comes at a cost. Integrity as a core value is authentic, and in this economically challenging time, it is a highly-desired attribute among Finance Chiefs. You actually are who you say you are, rather than someone you merely appear to be. 

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