With Integrity, Everything Works

By Scott Hunter

A wise man I had the privilege of working with many years ago made the bold statement: “with integrity, everything works, without integrity, nothing works.” Over the years I have come to appreciate the wisdom of that statement.

So what’s integrity? It comes from the root word “integral” meaning whole and complete. So to have integrity means to be whole and complete. A boat with a hole in it lacks integrity and would sink. A balloon with a hole in it lacks integrity and the air will escape.

The same wise man said his definition of integrity was “honoring yourself as your word.” What he meant was mean what you say before you say it, when you say it and after you say it. Keep your word. Do what you say you will do, how you say you will do it and by when you say you will do it by. Don’t cut corners.

Unfortunately, too many people these days don’t have integrity. It’s because they live by the formula: RESULTS = NO RESULTS + A GOOD EXCUSE. In other words, people actually believe that not producing a result is the same as producing a result, as long as you have a good excuse. IT’S NOT THE SAME. If you don’t do what you say, you didn’t do what you said and no excuse matters.

What I have learned is that when you have integrity, you can count on you, others can count on you, you feel good about you, others feel good about you, and you hold yourself accountable for what you say. That is why with integrity, everything works.

If this makes sense to you, and I hope it does, start noticing how you operate in the arena of integrity. Do you honor yourself as your word? Do you keep your promises? Do you do what you say you will do as you say you will do it and when you say you will do it by?

If you see you operate with integrity, acknowledge yourself and keep up the good work. If you see there is a gap between how you operate in the arena of integrity and how you could operate, get to work bridging the gap. Go back and clean up any areas where you can see you didn’t operate with integrity. Get them all handled and move forward from that point and start operating with integrity.

Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Scott Hunter is the founder and CEO of Unshackled Leadership, a team of individuals committed to providing organizations with unique tools, strategies, and resources for the development of extraordinary relationships and teamwork in the workplace.


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Keep integrity…through the years I have found people destroying your reputation and think that they are right with their perspective views of a person, especially the quit one’s. With integrity, you show these words with actions to the people that think their perspective and treatment toward that they do not have control over you. Your decisions at the same time create a positive environment to the by standers that are observing. Can they take my career from me…no as long as your doing your job and what is right. Can they take my health from me…no, stay healthy and eat… Read more »

Theresa C

Great article ! Be the change you want to see in the world! One thing I know is, the only person you have any control over is you. Your actions, beliefs, or intentions only you have any control over . Live on with Integrity!

Jan Asamoto

I agree with the idea of integrity. Yes…a lot of people make excuses for why the did or didn’t do something and think that’s okay but to me it’s not. I work with a few people like that and it’s bothersome. What can you do if they believe they are RIGHT?!