I was recently watching this great TED Talk called “What Really Motivates People to Be Honest in Business.” It was actually forwarded to me by Transparent Mortgage’s newest employee, Robert Rabago, who is really dialed into many different online resources.

I found myself fascinated by this speech from noted international economist, Alexander Wagner. He is really focused on human nature as it relates to economic motivation, and that is really the crux of his TED Talk.

In his presentation, Wagner presents different traditional economic theories and he talks about how approximately one in every seven major businesses will be caught for committing some sort of economic fraud. Though that seems like a scary figure, Wagner focuses on the positive side of things. He reminds us that six out of every seven businesses actually remain honest and avoid temptation to do things “the wrong way.”

This is very encouraging, especially as a business owner myself. I’ve built Transparent Mortgage on my own value system. The name “Transparent” comes from wanting to promote an environment of pure transparency. This means being honest, direct and upfront with our mortgage loan customers and other businesses that we deal with every day (real estate brokers, title representatives, banks, insurance companies, etc.).

Here are some of the takeaways from Wagner’s TED Talk that really hit closest to home:

1. Sticking to a Code of Conduct

Every company will have a Code of Conduct that they want employees to abide by. Transparent Mortgage is no different. Our employees must act a certain way and put our customers first at all times. Then, and only then, will we have a successful business that we can all be proud to be a part of.

2. Building a Better Reputation

When you do things the right way, your reputation will continue to grow over time. We want people to know they can count on the Transparent Mortgage name. Positive word of mouth is the most powerful marketing tool out there, especially in today’s social media driven society.

3. Protected Values vs. Quantitative Values

In Wagner’s speech, he discusses “protective values.” His definition is a value where you are willing to pay a price to uphold that value. In other words, you are willing to sacrifice certain gains in order to put that value first. That’s how you quantify what your business values truly mean to you, which leads to the term “quantitative values.” For me personally, our moral values as a mortgage company (honesty and transparency) mean much more to me than any financial gains. I believe that when you do things right, the positive results will come. This is something I expect from each of my employees, as well, which leads to the final point…

4. Finding the Right People

Wagner’s ultimate point is his most powerful, if you ask me. He states that as a business owner, you should seek out the right people who already have the moral values you desire rather than establishing a Code of Conduct and hoping to train people to fit within the mold. When you start with the right people, the proper motivation happens naturally. This is why we won’t just hire anybody at Transparent Mortgage. Our team is small, hard working and focused on doing business the right way.

I encourage you to check out the TED Talk from Alexander Wagner, whether you own a business yourself or not. We can all benefit from understanding what motivates us to do the things we do.

If you’re motivated to buy a home or refinance your mortgage loan, give Transparent Mortgage a call today at (619) 929-0199.

Beau Hodson

Beau Hodson

About the Author Since 2003, Beau has been a mortgage professional and is a leading mortgage broker and lender in San Diego. As Founder and Senior Mortgage Advisor at Transparent Mortgage, he is truly committed to serving the needs of his clients and raising industry standards for integrity and transparency.