Thursday, April 06, 2006

Integrity Today

Integrity is an important subject that is constantly in the news. It seems that there is always news items where people have been exposed, forced to resign or have been or being prosecuted for violating laws and rules of ethics and integrity. People in the United States and for that matter all over the world must take action to inform other individuals, organizations and companies that lack of integrity will not be tolerated. We as individuals must make an effort to instill integrity in everything we do in our responsibilities on the job and in our personal lives. Our responsibilities as an employee are to show up on time for work and perform our duties to the best of our ability. Employers have a responsibility to provide the proper training and guidance giving us the ability to perform our assigned responsibilities. Management in organizations should not blame individuals for poor performance if this is not accomplished. Integrity in the past, I believe, has been overlooked and has not received the recognition it deserves. Politics is one place that appears to constantly have news stories about integrity issues for politicians.

We as customers and business people must require ourselves to perform with integrity and require businesses and organizations to operate with integrity. This involves requiring companies to live up to their guarantees and adhere to their company policies, especially if they involve integrity principles. If we as individuals want integrity in others, then we must project to others that this quality is important as displayed in our words followed by actions. Statements made by people must be followed by actions. Statements and actions must have evidence of a commitment to integrity principles.

Integrity is also something that should be evaluated on a level playing field by applying the same criteria to everyone. I have become tired of examples that are constantly in the news where individuals or companies have not displayed integrity. When I deal with a company that does not treat their customers with integrity and respect, I sever my relationship with them. If upon registering a complaint, however a company or organization makes changes toward integrity and respect, I will not sever my relationship. Requirements to make companies and organizations to follow their principles are something that all of us need to do when we receive poor service and/or products. The more people demand integrity from businesses and individuals the more businesses will change. Customers of organizations, companies and even constituents of political representatives deserve integrity and accountability in all aspects. People who want change as I do must do something to make the change happen. Change will not happen by itself and we must take action to make change happen. Examples of what actions I have taken are discussed in the subsequent paragraphs. If you as an individual want to change the way businesses operate, I urge you to read the content of the remaining paragraphs and join me in the effort to change the scope of business in society.

As a businessperson I have taken two specific steps to help achieve a change in the way people and businesses operate. The first step was to make a commitment to treat my customers with respect, honesty and integrity. Evidence of this commitment is noted on my web site and through email signatures regarding the signing of a business ethics pledge. There is a movement in place regarding companies committing to integrity principles. The movement has a site, which provides a wide range of subjects and suggestions to spread the movement. Details of the pledge can be found on this site and a list of those committed to the principles. There is also a book by Shel Horowitz that I highly recommend titled Principled Profit: Marketing That Puts People First. It is great and helps to identify things that businesses and individuals can do to change and how it benefits their bottom line.

The second action I have taken is the writing of my book titled Integrity: Do You Have It? 2nd edition. Infinity Publishing publishes the print version of this book. An ebook version is available at with an excerpt available to review before purchasing. This book provides the definition and discusses the characteristics of integrity. The characteristics of integrity are the same for all individuals, companies and organizations. It makes sense that we evaluate others and us on the same level. This allows comparisons to be made of people, businesses, and organizations as to whether integrity exists and to what extent.
Some examples of information in the book include the following:

Help to evaluate you on the existence of integrity.

Learn to use the criteria and suggestions in car repair services.

Evaluate the actions of political representatives, local, state and federal for existence of integrity.

Evaluate the coverage of news reported in newspapers, TV and the Internet.

Evaluate the content and reliability of information on Internet Sites.

Learn information about codes of ethics established in various segments to help people require businesses live up to their commitment.

Both versions of my book present the definition of integrity so all readers understand the concept. When this is accomplished the characteristics are then applied to various segments discussed in the book with individual chapters on each. Examples of segments discussed include integrity in the news, integrity in politics and integrity in education among others. Discussing and presenting information on the various segments helps the public to know what commitments have been made or are required. This knowledge helps to provide the tools to make companies or organizations aware that we expect them to follow their established principles.

The book also brings the subject of integrity down to the individual level rather than the corporate level to which we are familiar. One aspect to note is that there needs to be compassion in the reporting of news events for the people involved in the story. The book also helps to bring about the realization of how these segments impact society and the way we live and work when integrity does not exist and when it does. Actions by others always impact decisions we make and we must make sure that any actions or decisions made are accomplished with integrity.

The items identified above as reasons to buy the print or the electronic version and the commitment to a business ethics pledge will help to change the way society operates. If you feel after reading this blog and/or the articles that you want to be a part of efforts to increase integrity in society, then I urge you to sign the business ethics pledge at the link provided. My book, I believe, also will help provide information to ask the right questions of society and/or individuals in assuring integrity exist in all areas with which we have contact.

There are various policies that businesses try to present that they have integrity in their business operations. Is the hype true or an effort to get the public, their customers, to do business with them? I have also written several published articles on the concept of integrity such as Integrity in Management, Integrity in Education and Integrity in Auditing. These are free articles and may be found on my web site I feel that integrity in these areas, which are applicable in every segment of society, is important. Other articles on integrity that can also be found at this link include Integrity in Election Ballots and Integrity and Free Speech.

If after reading this blog and/or the articles mentioned you would like to purchase either version, please use the following links:

For the print version you can visit go to the bottom of the page and click on bookstore. You can then input the following ISBN: 0-7414-2916-0 to get access to the place to purchase the print version of the book. The print version of the book is also available on or and other bookstore sites. If you are interested in the electronic version please go to the following link: This site offers the option to read an excerpt from the book before your decision to purchase. It allows an insight into the type of content and detail provided in the full version. Both the ebook and the print version are the same even though the titles are different.


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