Integrity is one of the most important qualities that I respect in a leader. It is defined as “the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles.” Why is it important? To me it comes down to knowing that the person who is making decisions is doing it for the right reasons and you can trust them. They are making decisions that are best for the company, not for themselves. I have seen plenty of leaders over my career that had high integrity as well as some that did not. You can watch the leaders in conversations or in meetings and see what type of a person they are. Do they bend the rules? Do they break them? Think about how you feel when you see that happening. Do you look at them differently once you know that about them?
What happens when people have chosen themselves over their clients or their company? They never thought that they would get caught for stealing money, giving contracts to a friend’s company or other situations where they were breaking the rules. Some of these situations may be caught by someone called a “whistleblower” who informs the authorities on the person or organization engaged in an illicit activity. Imagine that you have discovered information that shows something illegal is occurring. This is now a decision that you have to make. Are you willing to do what is right? Some companies now offer an anonymous way to share this sensitive information. It helps bring the situation to those who can investigate it without you having to give your name. I have seen this happen during my career and the organization puts the right people on it to investigate it.
Although making this decision may be the right thing to do, there are fears of retribution. It may cost you the trust of your peers or organization who may criticize you because they don’t know the information that you know. They are scared of what may happen in light of this situation. Could they lose their job or will the organization close? The security that they felt where everything was working properly has been shaken. Being able to do this takes tremendous courage to stand up and say this is wrong may cost you your job. We witnessed this happen last week when the US Attorney General chose to do what she felt was the right thing to do and she was fired because of it. She knew going into this role that she may have to make the tough decision one day to choose the law over the President or anyone else in power.
I will leave you with a quote to consider regarding integrity. C.S. Lewis once said “Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching.” What will you do if you get the chance?
Is Integrity one of your values? Sign up for one of the sessions of the ReVISION Program and ensure that you are focusing on that this year!
February 20th sessions begin at Noon (CST) and 7:00pm (CST).
February 21st session will begin at 8:00am CST.
If you haven’t heard about the program yet or would like more information, you can click on this link!
I am ready for reVISION to achieve Great Things in 2017!