Apix-drive.Com/En/Mailerlite, I was asked to lead a discussion on the topic of integrity at a training institute where I served as a presenter. I was honored to speak on the subject given that integrity is a value that plays an integral part in every aspect of my life. While preparing for my presentation, I was thinking of different ways I could share my views on how I integrate the value of integrity into my life without coming off sounding sanctimonious, or worse. By chance, I ran across a quote that embodies my point of view about what integrity means to me.
The quote by C.S. Lewis says, “Integrity is doing the right thing. Even when no one is watching”. An analogous quote by Oprah Winfrey states, “Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody’s going to know whether you did it or not.” In other words, the way I see it – integrity is where our beliefs, words and actions intersect. It is not something that can be faked or disingenuously exhibited in pursuit of accolades or praise from others.
The most succinct way I can describe integrity is that it is equivalent to breathing life into our morals and values. What I know for sure is the act of exemplifying integrity in our lives on a daily basis is a choice. I often say, the choices people make, good or bad, can impact the entire trajectory of their life. Having integrity does not mean a person is perfect by any means. It just shows that some people are more conscientious in making morally sound decisions than others. How wonderful it would be if more people would exercise more selfless choices.
Doing the Right Thing
Over the majority of my career, I have worked in two areas that have the greatest influence on the success or failure of a business, i.e., financial and human resources. Consequently, during my tenure, I have arbitrated numerous cases in which integrity had come into question. While presiding over each case, I always kept the words of wisdom at the forefront of my mind which an esteemed colleague said to me years ago while teaching a workshop on the principles of ethics and integrity. He said, “When it comes to integrity in the workplace, there is no such thing as a bad person. There are only good people who are put in bad situations”.
Depending on your belief system, I guess there could be some truth in that statement. However, I would be hard pressed to agree with this sentiment in its entirety given my belief system about integrity which is, ‘doing the right thing even when no one is watching’. In this statement, there is no judgment of good or bad about the individual. I simply believe a person of integrity who is put in a bad situation will in all likelihood choose to do the right thing. Of course, having integrity does not mean there is no room for error or that a person of integrity is always picture-perfect in every word, thought or deed. However, whether it is at work or play, a person of integrity will most certainly hold true to this value regardless of the situation.