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The Value of Integrity in Culture

by Jonathan Jones

One value that seems to be universal is integrity. Wikipedia’s current definition of integrity is “the qualifications of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness. It is generally a personal choice to hold oneself to consistent moral and ethical standards.” I am not familiar with a company that has thrived over a lengthy period of time without integrity. There are many examples of people who have fallen because of lack of integrity and have taken down a company because of their indiscretions.

High-quality employees want to join a company with integrity. Clients expect integrity from those they do business with. They will leave at the first experience of lack of integrity.

Lots of organizations have created their visions and values statements. The important aspect of these statements is that they should be modeled by the leaders and the leaders should hire and develop people by them. If an employee cannot live by the company values, no matter how effective they are in their job, they should be provided an opportunity to find a more suitable job elsewhere.

Some assume that everyone knows they should have integrity. Assumption has a large amount of risk associated with it. I encourage you to take a hard look at the importance of integrity as a stated and preached value within your organization. If your organization does get bigger over time, the leadership of the company cannot be aware of all the frontline people. Making integrity a non-negotiable value will reinforce it no matter how big your company gets.

Look at your values statement. Is integrity on the list? Should it be? What are you doing to reinforce the importance of integrity in your culture?

Jonathan Jones (Jonathan.jones@vistagechair.com or 314-608-0783) is a CEO peer group chair/coach for Vistage International.
Submitted 1 years 143 days ago
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