1. the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness.
2. the state of being whole and undivided.
The word “Integrity” is often used when discussing one’s business or personal dealings especially when it is our intent to move another party to action that will benefit us. If you look at the word you can’t help but see the connection between “Integrity” and “Integration”. The two words are cognate meaning, they have a similar origin and share a common root meaning.
Let me give you an example of integration that may help me clarify what I’m sharing about integrity. Look at the sleeve or any piece of fabric in the clothes you are currently wearing. If you look closely enough you may be able to distinguish the pattern in the material that is created by threads of the material being tightly woven together in a crossing pattern.
These individual threads have become through the process of weaving, integrated into a whole fabric from which your clothes were constructed. They are so tightly woven together that should one of the threads fray and cause the weave to loosen to the point that other threads break and create a hole you may be moved to discard the entire piece.
Don't Unravel Your Integrity!
While no one thread is the whole garment, it is equally true that one compromise thread may jeopardize or greatly diminish the value of the entire garment. You might say that the integrated threads where compromised causing a loss of integrity in the garment resulting in it being discarded in favor of another piece with uncompromised and intact threads.
So, the fabric of your personal life and the fabric of your professional and or business life must demonstrate the same type of integrity if you are to achieve longevity in healthy and productive relationships. More simply stated, your actions and your words must form an uncompromised fabric, a seamless weave between what you say and what you do, if you claim to have integrity.
In the end your integrity speaks to how much and how well can you “be” trusted by others. If your word has no value because your actions and your words don’t match, then you will not be trusted. Trust is the heart of every relationship, personal, business and professional.
What You Do Speaks The Loudest!
There is an old saying,
"What you do speaks so loudly, what you say, I cannot hear!"
The names have been changed to protect the innocent! I sat down with a gentleman to discuss my consulting services and how I could potentially help him with his restaurant that was struggling. While we talked about his business and where it was headed he shared with me that the water had been turned off to his business for non-payment and that he simply went out and turned it back on when the person left.
I immediately knew that he was someone with whom I could not do business. I decided that because he did not respect the agreement that he had with the utility therefore, what cause would I have to believe that he would respect our agreement? The answer was, “I had no cause to believe.”
Integrity is essential if you plan to move forward, without it there is no trust and where there is no trust there can be no productive relationship.