Integrity, one moment you have it and the next you don’t, and all it takes is one bad decision. How does that happen?
Is it because of the decision, or how you executed it? Survey says, probably both. Was the decision focused on “what’s in it for me,” instead of “what’s best for everyone?”
What’s funny is that it probably wasn’t the one incident that lead to a loss of integrity, but a series of poor small decisions that you made. I think John D. MacDonald had it right when he said,
“Integrity is not a conditional word. It doesn’t blow in the wind or change with the weather. It is your inner image of yourself, and if you look in there and see a man who won’t cheat, then you know he never will.”
I struggle when having to make decisions on a course of action knowing someone else has low integrity and only focuses on what’s best for them. Of course that’s how you interpret it, the other person may see it totally different. That’s when you need to have the courage, and yes, integrity, to discuss what you believe the right decision should be.
I like what John W. Gardner said,
“Men of integrity, by their very existence, rekindle the belief that as a people we can live above the level of moral squalor. We need that belief; a cynical community is a corrupt community.”
If those with no integrity live in moral squalor, will that eventually lead to financial squalor?
Look at the past history of individuals who became financially wealthy, but didn’t have integrity. Business and economic text books have case study after case study how highly successful people lost everything because they made decisions that focused on themselves.
How do people lose integrity? You usually see it when something finally blows up. They get caught embezzling money, cheating on taxes, having an affair, sometimes even committing murder. People don’t just wake up one day with no integrity. I think you lose it over time. It becomes easy to do what’s easy and self-fulfilling. Here’s an article that explains some research in how people lose their integrity. (Thanks Jonel for sharing it) http://www.artofmanliness.com/2013/08/05/what-strengthens-and-weakens-our-integrity-part-i-why-small-choices-count/
You have to walk a straight line, always. The moment you veer off it could be the time that the line breaks. Look what happened to Tiger Woods, he still hasn’t gotten his game back.
Where are your integrity cracks? What can you do to make sure that they get filled in?
Check out the video from Zig Ziglar and his thoughts on integrity; Zig Ziglar – True Performance – Integrity http://youtu.be/8wcnYvFJnOg