While there are many factors that make a business successful, perhaps one of the most important is the people. Hiring the right candidates can make or break your success.

Famed billionaire Warren Buffett said there are three key attributes to look for when hiring the right candidates: intelligence, energy and integrity. And if they don’t have the last one, don’t even bother with the first two.

In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we share these insights on why integrity is so important, from Inc. columnist Marcel Schwantes, principal and founder of Leadership From the Core.

You don’t question them for their actions. Hall of Fame football coach Tony Dungy, in his book Uncommon, said, “Integrity is the choice between what’s convenient and what’s right.” When someone leads with integrity, it makes it hard to question that person. People operating within parameters of truth, honesty and ethics will listen to their heart and do the right thing, even when nobody is watching. Their actions are open for everyone to see; they don’t have to worry about hiding anything from anyone, nor do you have to worry about them hiding anything from you.

Trust is developed seamlessly. When someone exercises integrity and good judgment, trust is gained, especially with those working and collaborating in close proximity. Colleagues see each other as dependable and accountable for their actions. When trust develops, people feel safe in each other’s presence and influence is spread within the tribe.

Integrity commands respect. A person who walks the walk of integrity eventually becomes a role model who commands respect. Why? Because integrity is a hallmark of moral authority and ethical leadership; people desire and long for it in others, especially in leaders. If that’s you, your tribe will naturally gravitate to your leadership because they respect the decisions you make on behalf of others and the team.

So how do you know if a job candidate has integrity? During the hiring process, throw them a curveball with a question like this: If we ever got into a bind with a client, would you be willing to tell a little white lie to help us out?

Source: Marcel Schwantes is an expert in developing exceptional servant leadership work cultures where employees, managers, executives and their businesses thrive. He is an entrepreneur, executive coach and adviser, and keynote speaker.