Integrity means doing the right thing at all times and in all circumstances, whether or not anyone is watching. It takes courage to do the right thing, no matter what the consequences will be. Building a reputation of integrity takes years, but it takes only a second to lose, so never allow yourself to ever do anything that would damage your integrity.

I believe that integrity isn’t talked about nearly enough. We live in a world where “the end justifies the means” has become an acceptable school of thought for far too many.

  • Salespeople over-promise in the name of making their monthly quota.
  • Applicants exaggerate in job interviews because they desperately need a job.
  • Service people find a mystery defect to increase the billable job.
  • CEOs overstate their projected earnings because they don’t want to get replaced.
  • Account reps cover up a mistake they made because they fear the client will leave them.
  • Employees call in “sick” when they actually just need to get their holiday shopping done.
  • Even corporations (i.e., Starbucks) that run campaigns that don’t align with their core values just to capitalize on trending interest.

The list could go on and on, and in each case, the person committing the act of dishonesty told themselves they had a perfectly valid reason why the end result justified their lack of integrity.

The rewards of honesty are far beyond anything that can be measured.

For employees; a boss that trusts them with additional responsibility.
For companies; customer confidence and revenue growth.
For you; an army of people that are willing to go the extra mile to help you because they know that recommending you to others will not damage to their own reputation of integrity.

Warren Buffet, Chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway may have said it best: “In looking for people to hire, look for 3 qualities: integrity, intelligence, and energy. And if they don’t have the first one, the other two will kill you.”