Have you ever looked up the word, Integrity in the dictionary? I admit, I had not. Here’s what it says:
the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness.
“he is known to be a man of integrity”
||honesty, probity, rectitude, honor, good character, principle(s), ethics, morals, righteousness, morality, virtue, decency, fairness, scrupulousness, sincerity, truthfulness, trustworthiness
Integrity is what you do when no one is watching; it’s doing the right thing all the time, even when it may work to your disadvantage. I was raised on the 10 commandments and the golden rule. Running a business and raising young people keep “doing the right thing” at the forefront of daily decisions.
How we conduct ourselves in public and private life is crucial to the legacy we leave behind. Maybe that’s why Pat loves golf so much. It’s such a great life-lesson game. It’s the only professional sport where the participants call penalties on themselves.
We’re not perfect, of course, but the following (condensed from this article
) is a good read whenever we need a reminder of how best to be honest, true, noble, trustworthy, and kind to family and customers.
1. Root yourself in a moral foundation.
2. Look for the positive.
3. Resist the temptation to compartmentalize your life.
4. Determine to live for others ahead of yourself (Golden Rule).
5. Participate in an active accountability group.
6. Partner with a friend where you need to make progress. That person should “hold your feet to the fire”.
7. Be in the habit of sharing EVERYTHING with your spouse (if you are married). Keeping secrets, big or small, tends to have an impact on who we are
8. Practice the habit of imagining the presence of someone whose opinion you value (Father, Grandparent, Spouse, your children) when conducting yourself with others.
And, if applicable, hold your children accountable. Every lesson we bring to our children is something we need to hear too.
As mentioned at the beginning, “integrity is what you do when no one is watching; it’s doing the right thing all the time, even when it may work to your disadvantage. Integrity is keeping your word. Integrity is that internal compass and rudder that directs you to where you know you should go when everything around you is pulling you in a different direction. Some people think reputation is the same thing as integrity, but they are two different things. Your reputation is the public perception of your integrity. Because it’s other people’s opinions of you, it may or may not be accurate. Others determine your reputation, but only you determine your integrity”.
How do you maintain integrity in your public and private life?