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E-Quipped to... Integrate Integrity
This newsletter introduces ‘Integrating Integrity’, a comprehensive article found on my website.
If you ask someone to list their values, the chances are they will mention ‘integrity’, but ask them to define integrity, or how it affects their lives, and they can’t.
We are taught from an early age that integrity is a good value to uphold, but we don’t really know what it is!
So what is integrity all about and what does it mean?
If you look up a dictionary definition, you will find that “integrity” is a noun. It comes from the Latin integritās (integer) and means:
Are Integrity and Morality the Same?
Integrity and morality are often confused, but there is a difference.
Morality implies a set of external rules that come from your religion or culture, whereas integrity refers to an internal set of principles – a personal quest that takes courage and inner honesty to define and apply.
French philosopher Albert Camus said: “Integrity has no need of rules”, which implies that a person of integrity will do the right thing without the need for rules.
The value of integrity is that it does not require extensive moral rules, policies and codes of conduct. As C.S Lewis said: “Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching.”
In most companies, the ethical conduct required of employees is all rule based, and when rules are broken, or loopholes are found to avoid or break the policy, more rules have to be written! This is obviously a never ending process, resulting in more and more rules, policies and codes of conduct for employees to understand and master. It is better to deal with the issue of personal integrity of employees.
What Does Integrity Mean for us as Human Beings?
As mentioned, the root of integrity is ‘integer’ which means a whole. Related words are ‘integral’, ‘integrated’ and ‘integration’.
Having integrity means doing the right thing in a reliable way. It's a personality trait that we admire, because it means a person has a moral compass that doesn't waver. It literally means having ‘wholeness’ of character, just as an integer is a ‘whole number’ with no fractions.
Integrity is therefore, the opposite of separateness and segregation. We are part of the whole – an integral part of a family, a business, a community and a country. Believing we are separate will result in a breakdown of personal integrity. If we want to examine our integrity, we must examine ourselves in relation to others, and in relation to the whole.
When you are not sure what is the right thing to do in a situation, ask yourself a few simple questions to come up with the right answer. For example, “How will this decision affect others?”; “Am I considering how this will make other people feel?”; “How will this affect the future?”; “Will I be proud to tell my parents, children or friends that I did this?”
Doing the right thing is an incredibly important thing. It will affect your friendships, your family, your community and your future. Little choices that we make can have big consequences on ourselves and others.
“Live so that when your children think of fairness, caring, and integrity, they think of you.”
For information on how we behave with integrity read ‘Integrating Integrity’.
What Impact Does Integrity Have on our Lives?
The consequences of integrity, or the lack of it, can be summed up as follows:
In other words without integrity we are in a state of incongruence and we betray some part of ourselves. This is the origin of sickness on a personal, company, societal and global level. Lack of integrity leads to betrayal, mistrust, fear, defensive behaviour, personal gain and disloyalty. Note that this is exactly what the ethical rule books try to stop!
Why is Integrity so Important in Business?
The answer is simple: Integrity is important because we need to build sustainable relationships if we want to sustain business.
The primary function of a business is not to make a profit. The primary function of a business is to stay in business – to be sustainable. Sustainability implies a future vision. Part of having integrity is being an integral part of the whole. We need to be stewards for the future. So the concern of business people should be for the future, not only the future of their own business, but also for the future of the country and the people in it.
“The greatness of a man is not in how much wealth he acquires,
For more information about why integrity is important in business read ‘Integrating Integrity’.
What do YOU Think?
Share your wisdom with others… What are your thoughts on integrity and what it means in your life?
Leave your comments here
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About These Newsletters
You may have been forwarded this email by a friend. In that case, allow me to introduce myself. I am a psychologist, speaker, trainer, coach and hat lover based in Durban, South Africa.
My goal is to inspire you to make the changes necessary to live the life of your dreams! I believe that by developing your YOU-Q - the term I have created to describe your unique intelligence, creativity and wisdom - you can find your Inner winner and live a Be-YOU-tiful life right now.
On my website you'll find more ideas to get you thinking about life, love, work and other important STUFF.
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+27 82 491 1136
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