The Principle of Integrity

June 11, 2015

Integrity can sometimes be a difficult and abstract concept to understand fully. And we must fully understand what integrity is before we can have it and apply it to daily life.

I like to use buildings as an analogy; it’s an easy concept that everyone can understand.

Houses are built on foundations. The foundation of a home is the stable platform for which it was built upon, to ensure your home is safe, sound and will not collapse and harm you or your family. Without a strong foundation, the beautiful dream home you’ve spent years building, will eventually collapse on itself.  That concept holds true for individuals or organizations. 

Integrity is the foundation for which all other actions stand upon; Integrity is the anchor of everything.

Business and life in society, for that matter, is built on relationships.  Integrity is the cornerstone of every good relationship. Integrity breeds trust. When people trust you, they will go out on a limb for you when you need it, and they’ll always have your back.  If people trust you, making deals is easier and better for all parties. When you have trust, you have stability in your business and your life.

Your integrity, and that of your organization can only really exist if it comes from a solid foundation.  Your integrity has everything to do with your success. So I will propose that it is worth your time and the time of your organization to spend serious time and effort on establishing, and continuously reinforcing your foundation. What do you believe in?  Why do you do what you do? What are the lines you will not cross? Who do you want to be?  If you cannot define these things for yourself, your integrity is a false illusion.  If your organization cannot define them and communicate them through your organization, there can be no integrity.

  • Are you built on a strong and stable, unshifting foundation?
  • How about your employer, company or organization?
  • Do you have very clear principles and values, vision and culture that guide your decisions?

It is easy to have integrity when the weather is nice, but in a storm, is the time when integrity is tested and when it matters most. Having integrity may not come easily to some, and it can seem a bitter pill.  But if you respond properly to this, your pill will be coated in chocolate; trust me, I won’t let you down.

I wish you strong relationships,

Greg Stoutenburgh