Integrity: How We Live When No One Is Watching
John Maxwell writes that “The true measure of leadership is influence – Nothing more, Nothing less.” I believe that a leader’s ability to influence others starts with integrity.
That’s a word we hear a lot in life. “INTEGRITY.” We see people in our lives who walk in “integrity” and people who don’t. We will often see that word on the walls of organizations, within their mission statements etc. But do these organizations and individuals live up that standard or is it just a word that looks good and sounds good so they use it? These are good questions and questions that every organization, and individual for that matter, should ask themselves on a regular basis.
Perhaps a better question to ask though is: “What does the word INTEGRITY really mean? Here’s a few definitions from dictionary.com: 1) adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty 2) the state of being whole, entire, undiminished: to preserve the integrity of the empire 3) sound, unimpaired or perfect condition: the integrity of a ships’ hull.
To simplify this a bit, let’s put it in layman’s terms: Integrity is doing the right thing, “adherence to moral and ethical principles, being honest” at all times, even, and I would venture to say, especially, when no one else is watching (this is the honesty piece). I emphasize “when no one else is watching” because how easy is it to just quietly cut a corner, or fudge a number here and there on a report, or fail to report a mistake, because, “who’s going to know if I don’t say anything?” Well, maybe no one for a while, but eventually, those small little compromises catch up with us. To paraphrase a biblical verse: It’s the little foxes that spoil the vines. Each time we compromise, it gets a little easier so that pretty soon, these little compromises become habits that we develop. These habits become governing practices that can lead to some pretty devastating consequences. Not the least of which is losing the faith and trust of others in your midst. Having a reputation of lacking integrity is pretty hard to overcome.
I read an article recently in Forbes by Amy Rees Anderson that is one of the BEST articles on the subject of Integrity I’ve ever read. The author makes many excellent points in this article, but the fundamental point that she drives home is this: “success is temporary; but integrity is forever.”
How true is that? Nothing is more important than being known as a person of unwavering integrity. Things are fleeting; character is not.
Character is something that we take very seriously at Etech Global Services. So much so, that as a corporation, we’ve come up with 12 character commitments of which Integrity is at the top of the list. We believe so strongly in Integrity, always striving to do the right thing and being honest, that we have built this into our corporate culture. We teach our employees that nothing is more important than doing the right thing, even if it means losing revenue. Why? Because revenue is up and down, but integrity is not.
One of the ways that we build this into our corporate culture is by creating a safe environment for employees to speak up. Our employees know that if they make a mistake, their manager will do everything possible to help them correct that mistake without making them feel like a failure. If employees know that when they mess up, they will receive grace instead of wrath, they are much more likely to be honest and forth-coming with mistakes rather than trying to conceal them. This environment provides a fertile ground for honesty and integrity to take root in our corporate culture. This, in turn, affects the way our staff deals with our customers. We strive each day to deal honestly with every customer we come in contact with.
INTEGRITY: always being honest and doing what is right. It’s the way we do business here at Etech Global Services and that is one thing that will never change.
This blog entry is a series based blog on the Etech Global Services 12 Character Commitments. It was written by Matt Rocco, President and General Manager of Etech Global Services. If you would like to learn more about Etech and contact center technology and service solutions, please contact at email@example.com.