What is Integrity?

Integrity Check For Your Business

in·teg·ri·ty

The dictionary definition of integrity is:

1. adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty.

2. the state of being whole, entire, or undiminished: topreserve the integrity of the empire.

3. sound, unimpaired, or perfect condition: the integrity of aship’s hull.

Does your business have integrity in these three ways?

I believe much of what’s going on in the world today – unscrupulous business practices, financial crises, lack of consumer confidence – can be traced back to lack of integrity at the core of businesses and governments.

Let’s start with the first definition of integrity: adherence to moral and ethical principles. Or, to put it simply, do what you say.

As a leader, you are responsible for setting the values and the culture of your business.  From your executive team to the maintenance person, your employees will look to you and be affected by the tone you set. If they see you lying, they will think that’s an accepted practice and follow your lead in their interactions with customers and vendors. Conversely, when your team sees you taking the honest route, they will follow suit.

What are some examples of integrity in your business?

When I work with businesses, I start with an integrity assessment <link to integrity assessment>. You can also do one right now for yourself and/or your organization.

  1. Does your company run on time? Do your meetings start and end on time? Are there consequences for being late? Do your orders get delivered on time? Do your invoices get paid on time? Being on time can have a huge impact on your productivity, profitability and employee morale.
  2. Do you honor your commitments? If I polled your top customers right now, what would they say about your integrity and commitments? Do your vendors and contractors get paid, or do you haggle over their invoices?
  3. Do you mean what you say and say what you mean?

“I meant what I said, and said what I meant…”

Written in 1954 by Dr. Seuss in his book “Horton Hears a Who,” it is a powerful reminder today to act with character and integrity.

How do you and your employees communicate internally and with customers? Are you honest with yourself and others? Do you make realistic promises, or do you overpromise? Do your sales people the customer’s best interest in mind?

Decades of dishonesty, greed and the notion that integrity doesn’t matter have caught up to us.

By restoring integrity in our businesses, we have the opportunity to shift the business culture and increase our trust and credibility with customers.

David Giuliano is a business and conflict resolution coach and founder of Without Boundaries Coaching. For more information please visit www.withoutboundariescoaching.com

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