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The Levels of Integrity - Where do you fall?

Posted on:April 2, 2017 at 12:00 AM (4 min read)

This weekend I was reminded of a life-changing blog post from the past month on integrity. The post is by Joshua Kennon, a private investor, businessman, and overall intelligent thinker (his blog is great!!).

Article Summary:

If you want to check out the specific article, here’s the link: Don’t Allow Thieves and Those With a Lack of Integrity in Your Life

The post explains a Reddit post, where the author was able to jip a grocer and save $200 money because of mislabeled meat prices. Josh believes there are two levels for integrity: you either have it, or you don’t. Extreme perhaps, and after thinking on this post a few times, my mind’s convinced. You either have it, or you don’t.

One can argue here that people can change and people do change throughout their life. I would agree and like Wale says, if you change, may you change for the better. If you are making that change, great!! Until you are on the 100% integrity side, then you still don’t have it - you have some.

The article ends with a recommendation to isolate the people who don’t have integrity from your life. Whether they are family, friends, or business partners, someone who can be bought for small amounts of money isn’t people you can trust in the long run. The best course of action would be to follow the famous golden rule, inform the clerk of the mistake, pay for the meat at full price, then sleep better that night knowing you did the right thing! Exchanging perspective-changing ideas to become better demonstrates the benefits of the internet.

This life-changing post has transformed me into someone who will let the clerk know of a mislabeled price in the future.

Defining Integrity

Google’s definition: “The quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness.”

Kaleb’s: “Upholding the morality you believe in even when no one is watching”

My position on morality is absolutism, not relativism. Even though cultures and people have morals relative to them, I’m a firm believer of one true moral code that defines right vs wrong. Situations may cause others to a fault, such as stealing when you are unable to afford food; that makes it more understandable, but doesn’t make it right. In your life or business, your character as a person is what truly matters to me.

Yes, the PIE model exists with your image being a huge part of how you are seen in the workplace. There has always been one expectation of the work image that astounds me, the lack of values representing that image. Many times I’ve heard this model pitched at leadership conferences during college, and every time the “dress for success” piece comes into play. You must look the part and always look sharp. It is true to an extent, how you look and how you take care of yourself does say much about you.

Who you are and what you do says so so so so much more. I’ve heard less talk of this for that personal brand idea, and today, this article should get your thoughts determined to add 100% (not some) integrity as part of your image. Not just for more success at work, also for being the best you can be in your life.

Let’s redefine its meaning: PIE model = Performance. Image. Integrity. Exposure.

Integrity in your life

You are who you surround yourself with. Which side are you currently on? Which side are your friends on? From now on, decide to be with people who have ABSOLUTE integrity.

In the past, I have faulted and have come to peace with that. Were they big faults? Not really, but I don’t think it matters. Will I have faults in the future, probably but my aim’s set higher than that.

Thankfully my family taught me the value of this since growing up…I mean when I was 5 years old, my parents made me take a pack of nerds back to the Walmart customer service center that my younger self stole. The best part, I NEVER DID IT AGAIN.

What if I would have gotten away with it? Who knows, but I know that I’ve never even thought of doing it again. Your friends make you who you are. They support and give advice. Do you want advice from someone who can be won over by $200? I don’t and that is why I truly agree with Josh.

Find people who you can trust, people who judge less, and people who appreciate the real you. Friends are those you don’t have to hold back around and be someone else for. They are people you can count on to do the right thing. Have these people?

Keep them in your life. They are worth more than any investment, pounds of gold, mansion, or job in the world…