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Truth & Character Thursdays

Debatable Issues & Moral Questions

When Integrity Gets Hard...

Integrity - it’s something that most of us aspire to. But in certain moments and situations, it can sure be difficult to leave with your integrity intact. 

Those moments where we come face to face with our integrity are different for each of us because we all view the world through our own perspective.

Let’s talk about some imaginary friends, Sally and Fred, to illustrate the point. They both pride themselves on their integrity…but they both come face to face with whether to maintain their integrity in different situations.

Fred finds a wallet full of money on the side of the road…it would be pretty easy to keep the money, he thinks. No one would know the difference. The temptation is real and Fred struggles to maintain his integrity because that extra money would be just enough for him to purchase all the things on his list of wants.

Sally, on the other hand, would have no problem returning the money in that wallet. She wouldn’t even think twice about it; however, Sally’s integrity would be tested in a different situation. Maybe Sally was recently given some personal, insider information about a friend. She promised that she would keep it to herself. But then she finds herself having drinks with some friends and the gossip starts. It would be pretty easy to share this insider information that she has…

Fred couldn’t care much less about gossiping - so that scenario wouldn’t put his integrity on the line.

You can see that we are all different and we all struggle to maintain our integrity in different scenarios.

So what is integrity? Well, I like to define it as doing the right thing, even when no one else is watching or knows. It’s like the trust factor.

If integrity matters to you, then the important thing to know is what areas or circumstances test you the most.  Because when you know where you are weak, you can put safe guards in place to maintain your integrity.

Recommended Book

The Price of Principle

Jul 12, 2022
ISBN: 9781510773295

Interesting Fact #1

Having integrity means you value honesty and openness.


Interesting Fact #2

Having integrity means you are responsible and accountable for your actions, good and bad.


Interesting Fact #3

Having integrity means you respect yourself and others around you no matter where you are.


Quote of the day

Integrity is making sure that the things you say and the things you say and the things you do are in alignment.

Article of the day - 5 Top Tips To Develop Your Integrity

In research on leadership, integrity is consistently rated as one of the most important character traits of a respected leader. Integrity can be defined as making values-based decisions, not decisions based on personal gain.

So if my values are about fairness and I work in a restaurant where we share the tips, but a customer gives me a large tip and tells me to keep it for myself, have I shown integrity when I pocket my special tip without telling my colleagues?

Another way to think of it is, would I behave in the same way if someone were watching me? If you were acting with integrity you’d do the same thing whether or not you were being observed, because you’d believe that it was the right thing to do. Don’t get me wrong, people with integrity aren’t perfect, but they admit their mistakes and do what they can to right their wrongs.

Here are my 5 top tips for developing your integrity:

1. Examine your own morals and ethics
What are your morals and ethics and where do they come from? When was the last time that you went against them, even in a small way and why was that? Have your morals and ethics changed, or does your behaviour need to? e.g. You say that you wouldn’t steal, but whenever you are in the supermarket you try a few grapes before buying a bunch, are you living by your own values and morals?

2. Be a role model of integrity for others
Be consistent, open and clear with your morals and ethics. Encourage those around you to question you and others, especially when you/they don’t appear to be acting with integrity. e.g If a colleague proposes an approach that you think is questionable in regard to your ethics around inclusion, you could say “Tell me about how what you just suggested fits in with our values around inclusion?” This approach is curious and collaborative rather than conflictual.

3. Stand Up for What You Believe in
You’ll always feel better about yourself for standing up for what you believe in. You can do this in a respectful and positive way. Always ask “How could I satisfy my ethics while also accommodating your outcomes?” Aim for a win win, it is possible with some positive and creative thinking.

When integrity is missing from our relationships, our leaders or ourselves, a break down in trust occurs, support disappears and as a result no one achieves their goals.
Aligning our internal values with our external behaviours sounds easy, but putting it into practice can be a challenge.

4. Keep Your Agreements
Keep your word to yourself and others. Every day we make promises, so many that it’s easy to forget them and when we do we jeopardise our relationships. Every small broken promise erodes trust. If you make a commitment, write it down and only cross it off once its done, or let the person know if you can no longer fulfil it.

5. Surround yourself with people of integrity
Choosing the right company will make it easier to keep your integrity. Limit time spent with those who don’t hold your values and ethics and if you are in a position to recruit people, consider how you hire people that have similar morals and ethics to you.

Question of the day - What is a circumstance that has caused you to stumble with your integrity?

Debatable Issues & Moral Questions

What is a circumstance that has caused you to stumble with your integrity?