A Personal Definition of Integrity
Integrity is always possible. It is not easy, but it is very possible. There will always be people who lie, cheat, steal, use, abuse, and betray, but integrity is possible within yourself. Think back in history (and you won't have to think too far) and examine the number of people who were at the height of their careers when they failed their integrity. From Richard Nixon to Enron's Kenneth Lay, you can examine the multiple causes and reasons of integrity failure.
You can also think back in history to the people that you personally know who have lived an entire life of integrity and wholeness. Their beliefs were solid and their actions matched their beliefs.
Self-esteem and integrity are incalculably intertwined. It is difficult to respect yourself when you know that you are undermining another person, event, or situation. It is hard to feel good about yourself when you know that you have taken the low road to get high.Just What Is Integrity?
Integrity comes from the Latin word
Years ago, reputation, specifically the reputation of young women, referred to sexual behavior. If a girl were promiscuous in high school, she would “ruin her reputation.” Today, reputation encompasses much, much more.
Not only are people concerned with reputations, but businesses, industry, school systems, hospitals, hotels, and scores of other service industries are as well. Reputation has become a prized commodity. For either businesses or individuals, reputation cannot be purchased. It is not something that can be negotiated, bartered, or created from verbiage or marketing campaigns. Reputation, like true power, must be earned.
Remember these words by Harvey MacKay: “Repairing a reputation is considerably more difficult than keeping a good one. It is like putting toothpaste back into the tube.”
Your reputation speaks when you cannot or do not. It goes places even when you are stationary. Your reputation is literally bigger than you are. You do not carry it; it carries you.