In this week’s Power Idea, Senior Strategic Partner, Laura Dillingham talks about an important topic. INTEGRITY is fairly easily to define but living up to its ideals is another matter. We hope you will consider Laura’s words carefully. They are truly words to live by.

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”
-Abraham Lincoln

Credibility and Integrity

We’re moving from Credibility to Integrity

Last week we looked at credibility, which can be daunting, but it is absolutely critical in developing relationships, especially those that matter. Crucial Conversations by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan and Al Switzler says “When it Matters Most, We Do our Worst”. They go on to stress that if a relationship matters then we will approach it in a different way; a way that enables us to achieve positive results without permanently damaging the relationship.

Let’s move from credibility to integrity. Integrity is repeatedly listed as a part of credibility. Integrity is defined having strong moral principles such as honesty, good character, ethics, morality, decency, fairness, truthfulness, trustworthiness, etc. While integrity may appear in multiple forms, what is expected in the workplace? What may be expected in the workplace is dependability, good judgement, honesty, and loyalty. What do those look like?

What are some examples of integrity in the workplace? (Please note these examples are not all encompassing.)

Integrity is:
* Communicating openly and honestly
* Being reliable
* Being trustworthy
* Demonstrating responsible behavior
* Exhibiting actions that are consistent with what you say
* Standing up for your beliefs
* Having values; especially values that are appropriate to the workplace and demonstrating behaviors that reflect those values
* Following company policies, procedures, rules and regulations
* Working efficiently and effectively (work ethics); doesn’t waste company time or resources
* Having the ability to admit mistakes and learn from them
* Not being afraid to show you care

Why is Integrity Important?

It is important because it creates a positive workplace culture by promoting trust and respect. Who is responsible to create this culture? Leadership is responsible and they usually begin with a set of shared values.

Creating a positive workplace culture of integrity starts with the character of a person and a trust and belief in them. Integrity is much more than ethics. When we talk about character, we are talking about the characteristics of a leader that is consistently compassionate, honest, transparent, considerate and ethical. It is someone we know we can count on. Someone who will consistently do the right thing. They are predictable and more importantly reliable in how they deal with people and with issues. They are not just fair; they defend what is fair and more importantly, what is acceptable.

It is a leader who creates an organizational culture of integrity by providing consistency, trust and predictable results. This culture is important because it creates a highly valued work environment that others want to be a part of. It allows the organization to develop a reputation of credibility and attract the best and brightest available talent. Integrity is important because without it there will be no long-term success or organizational sustainability.