Integrity – from Merriam Webster’s Dictionary: firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values; incorruptibility
Heck of a word. It’s not the word though, it’s everything it stands for and everything it doesn’t. Many people and companies say that they live by a code of integrity. I won’t say that they do or don’t; I will say that it is a tall order to fill.
I am a firm believer in everything that this word stands for and all that it means I strive to be integral in everything I do every day not just my business. Do I succeed? I feel that I do; I feel that the reason is this is just a part of the ‘code’ I live by. In my life I try to live in a honorable fashion and that honor is at the core of everything I do. As long as I am quoting dictionaries…
Honor – also from Merriam Webster: a: a keen sense of ethical conduct, integrity <a man of honor>
b: one’s word given as a guarantee of performance <on my honor, I will be there>
The part that means so much to me is “one’s word”. I am a firm believer that if I tell you I am going to do something I am going to do it. For me that leads to doing things with integrity, a code of especially moral and artistic values.
So why the heck am I writing about this today? Because I was re-reading the ASMP’s Code Of Ethics and I was proud to be able to read that and find myself saying “yeah, well that is obvious”, which it apparently isn’t or they wouldn’t have found it necessary to A) write it down and B) send it to all the members like me. Granted, for most if not all of the people I have met through ASMP it is second nature and the way they live every day. But it would seem that many don’t live this way and that is what kind of gets me.
I mean, how can you live in a way that is less than honorable and expect others to treat you with integrity? I know that the only way I know how to treat people is to treat them as I want to be treated. Wasn’t that the golden rule once upon a time?
Maybe that is what people, and especially businesses, need: a return to the old fashioned common sense of honor and integrity, back to treating everyone you meet with respect. However when I say a return, perhaps I am being a bit misleading when in reality we need to move forward to this level of mutual respect. In the past a façade of respect was presented to anyone that was like us; those that were different were ridiculed or discriminated against. Some were just plain shunned.
Let’s make a step into our own future and treat everyone that we meet with integrity. Let’s all start to live in an honorable fashion. Perhaps we can live by a solid code of ethics. I think that we can and I feel that the best way to start it is to just do it. Be the best we can be in every way.
For me the idea of integrity isn’t just a bunch of words that I use for business. For me it is a way I live my life that spills over into my business.