I recently had a second telephone interview for a chief marketing officer position with the CEO of a start-up.
The first interview lasted one hour and went very well.
We agreed the CEO would send me a non-disclosure agreement and several documents for my review to provide more insights on their technology and market opportunity.
During the second telephone interview I shared my observations and opportunities as well as where I believed I could contribute to help the company achieve its growth goals.
I suggested we meet in person and that's when the CEO said this was a "hybrid deal" and I would be expected to invest $300,000 in the company in order to be considered further for the position.
If the CEO had told me this up front, I would not have continued the conversation, signed his NDA, spent the weekend reviewing the documents he sent, nor share my thoughts on how they could successfully approach the market.
The CEO's lack of transparency and ethics has left me feeling very negatively towards him and the company.
He asked me to send any one else his way who may be interested in the opportunity.
Why would I want to do that to anyone I know?
I looked on this company's website for their values and didn't find any. I guess that's better than finding some that are not lived up to.
People like to do business with people they know like and trust. If I don't trust you, I don't want to do business with you.
If this company treats prospective members of their management team with this level of disrespect, openness and lack of integrity, I can only imagine how they treat prospective customers.
Treat a customer or prospect in this way, in a very small and insular industry, and word will travel fast.
While you may have bleeding-edge technology, no one will want to do business with you becase they can't trust you to be forthcoming or to do what you say you'll do when you say you'll do it.
Personal integrity is "doing what you say you'll do when you say you'll do it."
Corporate integrity is when every member of the company follows the same philosophy.
Integrity leads to trust. Trust leads to repeat business. Repeat business leads to profitiability.
Does your company have values? Do you earn your customer's trust?