The Integrity Advantage

I recently finished reading a 100 page book entitled “The Integrity Advantage”. The authors, Adrian Gostick and Dana Telford, describes 10 characteristics that defines Integrity. They claim, and I agree, that how taking the High Road (Integrity) creates a competitive advantage in business. I encourage you to read and study this little book. Integrity, that I define as being honest in all our interactions with ourselves and others, is one of my company’s principles. I like this book’s broader definition of integrity.Gostick is the co-author of the recent book, The Levity Effect.How would you rate yourself on each of the following 10 integrity characteristics:

  1. You know the little things count: Businesspeople lose their integrity a little bit at a time. To have the Integrity Advantage you do not lie or cheat on the small things.
  2. You find the white (when others see gray): You do not make tough decisions alone. You ask questions, receive counsel and take a long-term view.
  3. You mess up, you ‘fess up: Open and honest disclosure, e.g., Tylenol scare.
  4. You create a culture of trust: You reinforce integrity through principles, controls and personal example and you reward those employees who display personal integrity in their actions. I think it is time for me to read, The Speed of Trust by Covey.
  5. You keep your word: It’s walking the talk and setting the example.
  6. You care about the greater good: What goes around comes around. “Be generous: Invest in acts of charity. Charity yields high returns.”Ecclesiastes 11:1
  7. You’re honest but modest: Sounds like what Jim Collins calls a level 5 leader. Humble, quiet leaders are also considerate and courteous. They do the little things that win friends and admirers. They: smile and greet coworkers every day, they reflect on how their decisions will affect others, they praise and recognize their employees and even their bosses, they control their tempers, and they allow others to be kind to them.
  8. You act like you’re being watched: I once heard that the definition of character is what you do while your alone. Btw, if you are a leader you are being watched.
  9. You hire integrity: Key business principle according to Jack Welch and Warren Buffet. “Somebody once said that in looking for people to hire, you look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence, and energy. And if they don’t have the first, the other two will kill you. You think about it; it’s true. If you hire somebody without the first, you really want them to be dumb and lazy.”
  10. You stay the course: You have ethical consistency and predictability. Your life demonstrates wholeness and harmony between your values and your actions.
Read it!
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Little-known facts about South Africa

Juluka is a monthly magazine published in the US and according to its editors: a magazine embracing South Africa and her people. Btw, Juluka is a Zulu word and it means, “sweat”. It is also the name of a well-known South African band led by Johnny Clegg.In the March 2008 on Juluka magazine is a list of interesting and little-known facts about South Africa. Here is a partial list:

  • The only street is the world to house 2 Nobel Peace Prize winners is in Soweto. Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu both have houses in Vilakazi Street in Soweto. 
  • South Africa is the 2nd largest exporter of fruit.
  • South Africa generates 2/3 of Africa’s electricity and has the cheapest electricity in the world.
  • GM South Africa will be the only manufacturing site outside of the US to build the Hummer H3.

Do you know any other interesting facts about South Africa?

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What do you want to be remembered for?

I’m sure that you’ve noticed by now that I am a big fan of Guy Kawasaki. I really like his practical, let’s get it done attitude. His Art of the Start book is one of the best business books around.Read it!The last chapter of Guy’s book is on being a Mensch or “What do you want to be remembered for?” You can find a Guy’s post on this here and Joe McCarthy’s counter point here. Guy also contributes to Entrepreneur Magazine and in the March 2008 edition he writes about the same topic.Here are his 5 ways:

    • Help people who cannot help you. A mensch helps people who cannot ever return the favor. He doesn’t care if the recipient is rich, famous, or powerful. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t help rich, famous, or powerful people (indeed, they may need the most help), but you shouldn’t help only rich, famous, and powerful people.
    • Help without the expectation of return. A mensch helps people without the expectation of return–at least in this life. What’s the payoff? Not that there has to be a payoff, but the payoff is the pure satisfaction of helping others. Nothing more, nothing less.
    • Help many people. Menschdom is a numbers game: you should help many people, so you don’t hide your generosity under a bushel. (Of course, not even a mensch can help everyone. To try to do so would mean failing to help anyone.)
    • Do the right thing the right way. A mensch always does the right thing the right way. She would never cop an attitude like, “We’re not as bad as Enron.” There is a bright, clear line between right and wrong, and a mensch never crosses that line.
    • Pay back society. A mensch realizes that he’s blessed. For example, entrepreneurs are blessed with vision and passion plus the ability to recruit, raise money, and change the world. These blessings come with the obligation to pay back society. The baseline is that we owe something to society–we’re not a doing a favor by paying back society.

      It’s the end of your life…what do you want to be remembered for?[amtap book:isbn=1591840562]

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