If science is the pursuit of truth about the material world around us, the most serious crime a scientist can commit is the deliberate falsification of that body of truth. — Antony Rosen
We live in a world where integrity is lacking. Lying and falsifying records, results, statements, evidence, events, and ideas, had eaten deep into the way we live.
Practically in several corporate systems, religious groups, scientific research institutes, government offices, the mainstream media, the internet, schools, and even marriages — the virtue of integrity is almost lost.
It has become quite alarming how the society we live in is changing very fast and losing its core ethical value. We get caught up easily in daily buzz and the latest trends but the principles of personal integrity must permeate in our lifestyle. If you don’t have integrity, it bleeds over into other parts of your life.
As a business owner, I have had some integrity challenges where my fellow colleagues and partners have presented the temptations to overstate prices in order to gain higher profits.
I have seen competitors who lie to customers in order to seal a deal; customer service reps that cover up mistakes because they fear clients will leave; political figures misappropriating resources entrusted to them, and leaders in places of worship deceiving their congregation. Places that are expected to maintain and act in integrity have become the center of deceit, dishonesty, and division.
When leaders lack integrity, it rubs off on those under them. As a leader, if you want loyalty from your subjects you must sow the seed of integrity. Integrity brings you honor, respect, trust, and real success.
Embrace the culture of integrity
C.S. Lewis defined integrity as — “doing the right thing all the time, even when no one is looking — especially when no one is looking.”
For individuals, integrity embodies above all a commitment to intellectual and social honesty, and personal responsibility for one’s actions and to a range of practices that characterize responsible ethical conduct. For institutions, it is a matter of creating an environment that promotes responsible conduct by embracing standards of trustworthiness and virtues that inform institutional practices.
You must consistently strive for honorable harmony and be a person of great repute. We should embrace the culture of integrity if we want to advance as a society. Integrity builds trust and attracts real success. It is impossible to harmonize a good working culture and a better relationship without the key ingredients of trust.
Consider this approach for fostering a culture of integrity; determine to be an honest person, accept it is a consistent choice you must make, and lead a life of principle.
Determine to be an honest person
What would you do to maintain your integrity in a situation where dishonesty would give you a better edge?
Do what is right; let the consequences follow.
Acting with integrity can be difficult when you’re faced with certain challenges or situations. It has to be a determination — if you’re not determined to be a person of integrity, you’d certainly fail at it.
Our life, and our actions, are open for everyone to see, and we don’t have to worry about hiding anything. Your friends, colleagues, employers, and customers will always put a high premium on your integrity and your reputation.
Determine to make integrity more than just a word in your personal or organization’s mission statement. Let it be a lifestyle and conduct you’re willing to showcase even when no one is watching.
Integrity, a consistent choice you make
“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.” — Warren Buffet
Integrity is an aspect of moral character. It’s important that you establish for yourself a clear code of ethics. We all face integrity-based choices on a regular basis. Choices require personal judgment. Although we know what’s right and what’s wrong, there are some situations where it’s really difficult to figure out the right choice to make.
A better guide to help you in situational choices is to examine how the choices you’d make affect your reputation. Will your choices align with your core value or ruin it?
Sometimes you’ll be under intense pressure from others to make the wrong choice. Most of the wrong choices people make are usually as a result of pressure from people around them. Some are under the influence of godfathers or those who boss over them.
How do you say “No” to your boss or godfathers when what they’re asking you to do would ruin your core value?
Lead a life of principle
People with integrity have something in common — they’re humble and confident. They’re people of principle and are transparent in all their dealings. Moral conduct does not hide — it is obviously noticeable. It is an impression you give to people to know who you are and what you stand for.
Define your principle as part of your communication with those around you. When they see how you lead a life of principle, they’d be careful of what they throw at you. You do not need to say “No” abruptly to your friends, boss, or godfathers when they try to make you do things that are against your core value. See it as an opportunity to communicate to them what you stand for. Do it politely.
Whatever the consequence is for doing so, you’ve intelligently turned the table towards them to make a decision. It would cause them to think later about your conduct. This way, you’d earn their trust and they would honor you for that.
Many of us have to make decisions that define who we are and what we stand for. The choices we face may be insignificant to others but we know how critical they are. They may have an impact on our self-respect, our integrity, and, ultimately, our reputation.
In a world where headlines are often dominated by people who lack integrity, people who embrace the culture of integrity can seem to be rare. However, it feels good to live and work with integrity and, when we become known for this highly valued trait, our lives and careers can flourish.
Consider the habits you need to cultivate to enhance integrity. Create an environment that embraces the culture of integrity. Let this moral conduct be the key ingredients in your group, organization, workplace, and home.