The Integrity Advantage

Posted by on Jun 20, 2008 in Business, Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Life

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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