Podcast #13: Teleseminar on the power and practicality of integrity: doing what you said you would do, by when you promised, and the it was expected to be done or, as soon as you know you will not, communicating and taking responsibility for the breach. Just click here and either listen through your computer or subscribe through iTunes to have this and all new episodes placed on your device as they become available. You may also set up an automatic “feed” to non-Apple devices by using this link: click here for other devices.
Podcast #13: Teleseminar on the power and practicality of integrity: doing what you said you would do, by when you promised, and the it was expected to be done or, as soon as you know you will not, communicating and taking responsibility for the breach.
I was very pleased to be invited to a meeting with former MCI Worldcom internal auditor, Cynthia Cooper, sponsored by Accelerent. She is the employee who discovered and “blew the whistle” on the $11 billion financial fraud that, along with Enron, changed corporate governance in America. Unfortunately, similar frauds continue to be perpetrated. Her story, also told in Extraordinary Circumstances, illustrates an important principle of business integrity.
Business crimes are seldom committed by evil people searching for opportunities to lie, cheat, or steal. Most misdeeds, from pilfering pens and misusing the copier to billion-dollar stock frauds, are carried out by regular people who have rationalized small steps over the line. At MCI Worldcom, accountants reclassified some reserves into revenue because the CFO said (more…)
I put off reading this book for months. Reading another how-to, self-help autobiography was like a trip to the gym: I knew I should, but it could always wait. Most sales trainers left me with a simple pair of thoughts: that stuff would really work–if I could force myself to do it! The Sandlr System leaves me with: this stuff works–and it feels natural!
The book is very professionally written: not literature just clear, concise and readable. A lively mix of (more…)
Integrity is usually a major conversation when I coach groups of executives. It almost always comes up in the context of arriving at the meeting on time or returning promptly from breaks.1 This leads to a discussion of consequences, by which people mean punishments for not being on time: fines, humiliation, etc. This opens a powerful examination of monitoring, enforcement, and integrity throughout the organization.
As a coach and advisor to business owners, I find that the resolutions for many of our most complex, challenging management situations become simple and obvious when we use precise language to accurately describe exactly what has happened and what we want to help happen. Getting work done is faster and easier, for example, for entrepreneurs who understand the five aspects of trust, the operative features of a powerful request, and the distinct types of group agreement.
Leadership success requires accurate evaluations of colleagues and keen cognizance of how others are evaluating us as leaders. Managers can improve these judgements by understanding the difference between four common words that are too often used interchangeably.
One action or omission may breach all four though not in every case.
Integrity comes from engineering. A machine or system with all of its parts and components working together as intended and expected has integrity. Integrity for the human machine is consistency of behaviors, often summarized as, “Do what you said you would do.”
Integrity isn’t right or wrong, good or bad. It just works.
Morality is that aspect of a culture which delineates “good behavior.” Morality is how we “ought” to do things around here, the requirements for being respectable. Morality emerges from some combination of intuition and mysticism, from the nature of being human, not by vote, volition, or convention.
Ethics is a set of rules specifically defining the behaviors required
for membership in a group and enjoyment of the privileges membership confers. A
defining characteristic of modern professions, e.g., accountants, lawyers,
physicians, is a Code of Ethics. Ethics are manmade and can be changed
Law defines behaviors that can be punished by government. A unique characteristic of government is a monopoly on the initiation of force. Laws may be arbitrary or democratic, stable or capricious, and applied with equality or discrimination.
These last three are about right and wrong. Integrity is in that field Rumi wrote a poem about. 😉
Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field.
I’ll meet you there.
A Great Wagon by Rumi
Those three also require imposed punishment:
Violate the law and risk violence.
Breach ethics and risk dismemberment (exclusion from membership).
Fail to act morally and be shamed, excluded from society.
Integrity does not require enforcement or punishment. Lack of integrity carries its own intrinsic punishments. Behaving with integrity just works better.
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