I don’t want to intimidate you, but I think you have the right to know — I have a black belt in Tae Kwon Do. Granted, I received my black belt when I was twelve, and nowadays I would likely topple over trying to do a roundhouse kick… however, my time spent sparring and breaking plastic boards still taught me some valuable lessons.
Everyday at the start of class, we had to recite the tenants of Tae Kwon Do. Standing at attention, we earnestly listed the foundational principles, one of which (and the only one I remember, honestly) was integrity. In simple terms, we were taught that integrity was “doing the right thing, no matter what, even when nobody is watching.”
A reputation of integrity is built through shared experiences. Though integrity might be doing right “even when nobody is watching,” these days it seems that someone is always watching. With the advent of social media, our principles are always on display. It is more important than ever to consistently seek the ethical path, even when we think nobody is looking. As Frank Sonnenberg so wonderfully puts it, “trust is built through a series of experiences shared with others.” Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and LinkedIn are all about sharing experiences. Through honest and authentic interactions across all platforms, our team at Weaving Influence strives to continually build a reputation of integrity for both our clients and ourselves.
Integrity is in the small things. At Weaving Influence, we strive toward integrity in everything we do — whether it is in interactions between coworkers or hosting webinars with clients. Integrity should be central not only to keynote speeches, but also to daily emails and phone calls. It takes a diligent and concentrated effort to maintain integrity, and we are committed to this effort.
When focused on integrity, we cannot buy into the myth that the ends always justify the means. Integrity asks us to acknowledge our interconnectivity with one another and our responsibility to interact with honesty at all times. A person with integrity must acknowledge that everything they do, no matter how small or how private, should be held to the same ethical standard.
To truly have integrity, we must transcend strategic kindness and embrace radical authenticity.
Tell me something! How do you pursue integrity? What are the pitfalls of neglecting it?