• Post category:Insight


I just left a business networking event with accomplished entrepreneurs, consultants and more CPAs than I’ve ever seen in one place in my entire life. Although as a general rule, financial people scare me to death, these were gracious and welcoming folks and I enjoyed the event immensely.

The speaker for the evening was attorney Cary Schwimmer, who specializes in employment law. Though I’m a freelancer with no employees, there were still valuable takeways. Schwimmer outlined the top ten employer mistakes, which ranged from poor documentation of performance and disciplinary problems to the tax implications of employees vs. independent contractors. Information I won’t use tomorrow, but have definitely filed away for the future.

The top mistakes shared a common thread — a lack of integrity. Failure to treat people with dignity, fairness and respect, lack of appreciation and nonexistent or dishonest communication. In an age where technology advances almost daily, I’m reminded that there is still nothing new under the sun.

Mankind has figured out how to cure diseases, process complex information instantly and donate money via text message, but no one has invented a better way to avoid disputes, preserve a reputation and earn the esteem of colleagues than simple integrity. It’s not a new invention or a unique idea, but a long-established basis for good business, solid relationships and a successful life. It requires no special knowledge, just the willingness to truly be who we want others to think we are. Nothing new under the sun.

As much as I’ve heard this expression, I never realized until a few years ago it came from the Bible (emphasis mine):

What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun. Is there anything of which one can say, “Look! This is something new”? It was here already, long ago; it was here before our time.

Ecclesiastes 1:9-10

We may be technically brilliant, wildly creative or accomplished beyond our dreams. Without integrity it is, as the writer of the book of Ecclesiastes says, meaningless.

*many Bible scholars believe the book of Ecclesiastes was written by King Solomon.

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