What is Integrity?


Integrity Principles Trust Ethics Conduct Honesty 3d Illustratio

Talking to a customer yesterday, he mentioned that you can’t trust people these days. On a similar note, a friend posted on social media that she had a situation with a gentleman who also did not trust others. This got me thinking about not only honesty, but also integrity. It seems more and more people are under the impression that everyone is out to harm them in one way or another. We have become so sure that a deal will go wrong, we will be taken advantage of, or basically hurt, that we go into any situation on the defense.

This is understandable since many are out there with only themselves and their gain in mind. They deliver empty promises and in some cases right out lie. It makes me wonder, what does integrity mean today and does it still exist? I have worked for big companies that speak of integrity, but when it came down to it, they would put themselves first over employees and even customers as if these were mere pawns to their actual goal of greed.

Miriam-Webster defines integrity as a “firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values:  incorruptibility.” I have also heard it is doing what is right even when no one is looking.  This seems straight forward, but has this become an outdated concept? Have we become a society where it is “eat or be eaten” so to speak? Is our greed and lack of empathy so strong that we feel we don’t have to keep our word?

I and a few others I know don’t feel this is the case. We believe that the only way to do business or to live life for that matter is with integrity. It’s a part of taking pride in one’s self and your work. It’s also the first block in building relationships with others. Yet it becomes more and more frustrating trying to convince others that this is the case, especially when they are out to prove you are lying from the get go. I personally don’t plan to give up, but I do wonder how we can change the mindset of today’s society in relation to honesty, empathy and integrity.

So, my question to you is what does integrity mean? Do you think it’s still common today? Are there still people out there that live by it? How do we make it a key factor again in life and business?