Integrity for a person is a matter of that person’s word, nothing more and nothing less. For a person to have integrity, the word of that person must be (as integrity is defined in the dictionary) whole, complete, unbroken, unimpaired, sound, perfect condition. The question is, in the matter of integrity what constitutes your word?
Integrity Is Honoring Your Word, and Honoring Your Word Is
1. Keeping your word, and on time
2. Whenever you will not be keeping your word, just as soon as you become aware that you will not be keeping your word (including not keeping your word on time) saying to everyone impacted:
a. that you will not be keeping your word, and
b. that you will keep that word in the future, and by when, or, that you won’t be keeping that word at all, and
c. what you will do to deal with the impact on others of the failure to keep your word (or to keep it on time).
Honoring Your Word
Remember, honoring your word when you are not going to keep your word means that as soon as you know you will not or may not be keeping your word, you let us know, and clean up any mess left for yourself and others.
In fact, to empower and enable yourself as a leader, you will have to be rigorous in honoring your word – with yourself, with those you lead, and with those who lead you. So this is an opportunity for you to practice being a leader, that is, being a person of integrity. And remember, integrity is one of the four factors of the foundation for leadership.
Cost/Benefit Analysis On Giving Your Word
The time to do a cost/benefit analysis is when you are considering giving your word. Before giving your word it is wise to weigh the benefits of giving your word against the cost of keeping that word. When you give your word, you are in effect saying, “I will make that happen.”
Cost/Benefit Analysis On Keeping Your Word And On Honoring Your Word
When it comes time to keep your word, there will also be instances when doing a cost/benefit analysis is appropriate. However, it is never appropriate to do a cost/benefit analysis on honoring your word. Once you have given your word, if you are to be a man or woman of integrity you have no choice but to honor your word, exactly as we have distinguished honoring your word.
After you have given your word, doing a cost/benefit analysis on honoring your word demonstrates that you are untrustworthy, and guarantees that you will not be a person of integrity.
Given that integrity is one of the four factors of the foundation for being a leader and for the effective exercise of leadership, practicing honoring your word is an important opportunity when choosing to be a leader.
Integrity And Performance
As this new model of integrity points out, integrity is the state or condition of being whole, complete, unbroken, unimpaired, sound, perfect condition. Such a state is the necessary and sufficient condition for workability. And, workability is a necessary condition for performance. As a result, it becomes clear that integrity influences performance.
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