I was at a conference recently and the speaker said, “A little integrity goes a long way.” Really? What is a little integrity? How much is enough?
Meanwhile back at the conference everyone was buzzing and nodding their heads. This indicated that they too felt that “a little integrity goes a long way”.
Websters Dictonary defines integrity as follows
1: firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values : incorruptibility
2: an unimpaired condition : soundness
3: the quality or state of being complete or undivided : completeness
I suppose we can be in integrity in some areas of our life and not others. But, is that really going a long way? If we are working to develop a long term business relationship and we are playing golf; what happens to your integrity if I see you kicking the ball out from under the bush? You might say but that’s just golf I would never do that in business.
Let me suggest that integrity is a BIG thing not a little thing. I believe that’s why the audience was so excited by the story. I see people hungering for integrity in their friends, their employees, their buyers and sellers and for sure from our leaders. And yet almost nightly we can find video clips of our leaders and celebrities’ saying one thing last year and coming out vehemently against it this year. We see organizations fined again and again for misdeeds and yet they continue to operate.
So what does that mean for you and me? I believe we can use integrity to develop more business, more influence and a more fulfilled life. OK, how do we do that? It’s really very simple:
– Say what you mean (be forth-right)
– Do what you say you are going to do (be reliable)
– Own up to your mistakes (we all make them and when we own them we stand out)
– Contemplate what you are thinking, doing and saying from time to time. How does it stand up against your own internal values? What if this is what people remembered you for when they bury you?
Integrity goes a long way and it is a BIG thing. When we are able to demonstrate it over time and in a variety of circumstances our influence is leveraged greatly.
Thanks for reading.