There have been many lessons learned throughout each season of my career. While each season has taught me different things some have been universal. One of the most important values I learned is that integrity matters. You can be successful in business and maintain your integrity.
Merriam-Webster defines integrity as:
- firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values : incorruptibility
- an unimpaired condition : soundness
- the quality or state of being complete or undivided : completeness
This definition provides the key elements needed to maintain integrity in business:
Incorruptibility – don’t sell out. Stay true to your company’s values. If you are an employee and your values do not line up with your employer’s then find a new employer. I once quit a job without having another one because I could not support the unethical actions of my employer for even one more day. If you are a business owner make sure your company is conducting business in a way that you could tell your mother or your pastor about.
Soundness – make sure you think through the plans for your organization. Buildings must be sound for the structure to maintain integrity. So it goes with your business. If your planning (and execution) is not sound your company could crumble when trouble hits. I would rather build my foundation on the rock instead of the sand.
Completeness – follow through. If you make a commitment: follow through. If you are working on a project: see it through to completion. If you accept an order for a client: fulfill the order. Sometimes plans, processes, etc. can go awry: adjust your plan, communicate with your customers and stakeholders and see it through to completion.
My personal definition of integrity is doing what you say you are going to do. What’s your definition of integrity?
Driven to stay in integrity,