Integrity – Success Demands It

I write this under the assumption that you have a standard of integrity to which you strive to adhere.  If you don’t, this article is probably not for you.  Well, maybe it is and will start a thought process that proves helpful.  In reality, our integrity at work should be indistinguishable from our integrity outside of work.

Ever Had this Happen?

Have you ever been in a work situation where you were told to do or not do something that violated your personal standards of integrity?  Probably more of you than most would imagine have encountered this at some point in your career.  I know I have on more than one occasion.  For example, early in my work life I was asked to falsify some accounting records in order to make a division of a large company look profitable or at least break even.  I refused to do this, so the Controller of the company did it.  Shortly after that I left the company, but for all practical purposes I left the company the day they insisted I falsify the records.  In another instance I uncovered an attempted fraud by a company owner and theft by one of his employees.  I reported it and shortly after was gone.  In neither of these instances do I have any regrets that I was unwilling to compromise my integrity.  Sure, I had to change jobs, but I kept something much more important.

When You Look Back What Do You See?

Please don’t misunderstand me.  We all have our failings.  Yet, the older I get the more I realize how much it means personally to maintain high ethical standards.  It is a great feeling when one can look back and see when and where they stood firm, unwilling to compromise their integrity or honesty.  A life of integrity also impacts those with whom we interact.

No legacy is so rich as honesty.” – William Shakespeare

What is the Cost?

There are costs of maintaining your integrity.  For example:

  • You may find you occasionally have to make a fresh start
  • You may find yourself an outcast in your company, even unemployed
  • You may experience rejection from peers and/or superiors

The costs associated with not maintaining your integrity are even greater, such as:

  • Loss of self-respect
  • Loss of respect by others that matter greatly to you
  • Legal and financial problems
  • Loss of passion
  • Lack of consistency
  • While you may appear to be a success on the outside, inside you feel like a failure

When you get right down to it, there is really no comparison.  Yes, not being willing to go along with others who want to stray may be uncomfortable, but deep down inside you know that is a small price to pay for peace of mind.  Don’t you want to look back on your accomplishments and know that they were honestly achieved so that you have no regrets in that regard?

What do you think?  How have you been challenged?  Do you need to set the record straight where you haven’t been truthful and chart a new course?  If you are a business owner, what special challenges does that present?

If you want to know more, contact us at: AimCFO – Contact

As always, your comments are welcomed.


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