Organizational excellence – Importance of Integrity

April 4, 2011 at 10:06 am | Posted in Blogroll, Organizational Excellence | 1 Comment

Recently I was particularly exasperated by a colleague who would promise a lot but actually won’t care to keep his promises. On top of it, he would be quite shameless about it and laugh it off. I have a friend who often would not do what he said he would do and then profusely apologize for it. In either case, it leaves me irritated & frustrated, but I do not want to let our relations be affected by of it. So as a safety measure, I started closely monitoring and reminding them but with partial success and lot of unnecessary work for me.

While thinking about it, I recalled the book “The Three Laws of Performance” by Steve Zaffron & Dave Logan which I was reading recently had mentioned about integrity and its importance. I looked up relevant portions again and feel it worthwhile sharing it here.

As per the authors, “An enduring sense of satisfaction requires living with integrity – speaking consistently in all situations, keeping our word when possible, saying when we won’t be able to keep it and then dealing with the consequences – makes us whole, complete and powerful”

Though this is so important, why don’t we strive for integrity in practice? The book provides a possible reason, “We seek to be liked, or win approval, or avoid situations that occur to us as dominating, and so we speak in a way that will bring us acceptance or recognition or safety in that moment. In another moment, with another group, we speak differently and create a lack of consistency and ultimately of power. We don’t speak honestly, we hold back; we give our word and don’t keep it. The result is lack of integrity and loss power”; How true.

Further, “On the positive side, honoring our word is also creating whole and complete social and working relationships, and it provides an actionable pathway to earning the trust of others. It allows who we are to come forward and to become a presence in the world”.

I started thinking what I could do to deal with such people, without frustration or irritation, and try to bring greater certainty in their actions where I depend on them. I can think of two possible approaches and I want to try them out. One is to be very explicit with them in terms of my expectations and not fall myself in the trap of trying to get their acceptance / recognition or avoid getting into awkwardness in our relationships. Another is to look for people around us who display a higher level of integrity and take their help in creating peer pressure on those who don’t. I hope it works.

I would really appreciate any thoughts / experiences you may have about how you handle it.

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1 Comment »

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  1. Hi Prabhakar Sir,

    Very good post and very honestly expressed. Although, I do admit I do not have a solution. To maintain unity in thought, word and deed is the toughest of challenges in front of mankind. For any of us. Even the stalwart saints find it difficult to do that, what to talk about us with our hands in sin.

    I often think about this very subject, and your post struck me as a co-incident. It is the most difficult thing to do what we say, and to say what we do. If anyone were to master just this much, we would need no more skills to master, and have nothing more to win, for all would be won.

    That said, I think we must look into ourselves to spot how often we ourselves do that. Someone rightly said, “We highly over-estimate our ability to change others, and highly under-estimate our ability to change ourselves.”

    Keep posting.


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