What is integrity?
Is it being honest? Is it always telling the truth?
Is it never stealing, or never cheating someone out of something?
What is integrity?
Integrity is something that is internally driven by each individual.
Someone might say in a conversation: “You know John? Well, that’s a guy with real integrity.”
The response could be: “Why, what has John done to earn this accolade?”
Has he done something that is commendable in the public eye, for everyone to see, and therefore he is labelled a person of integrity?
For example, perhaps John flagged a transaction at work that seemed suspicious, and he was correct as the transaction was fraudulent.
John was commended for this.
Let us say that the said transaction would probably have been picked up by an audit process in the workplace, but John identified it and received the appropriate praise, and has been labelled as a person of integrity.
But what if I told you that John cheats on his wife?
Is John still a person of integrity?
The measure of a person’s integrity is not what they do in the public eye, but rather what they do when no-one is looking.
The person with a high level of integrity will live a life not for the praise of others, but by and for their own internal standards.
An example of this would be Mike.
Mike is an avid golfer. He plays at least once a week. He is not very good, but playing golf is a passionate hobby of his.
Now those of you who play golf will know that if your ball is in the rough (not on the lovely, mowed lawns called the fairway), then you have a difficult shot to play.
The ball could be deeply lodged in sand or could be in really long grass.
When you are playing golf, your golfing partner is not always next to you. They could be on the other side of the fairway, getting ready to play their ball.
If you are carrying your own bag, then you do not have a caddy with you, therefore you are on your own, standing over your ball.
When you ball is in the rough, it is against the laws of golf to move your ball in order to make your shot easier.
So, Mike plays his shot and he lands in the rough. He walks up to his ball and he can see that he will have a very difficult shot.
Mike’s playing partner cannot see him as he is further down the fairway, so does Mike move his ball?
Who will know?
But Mike does not move his ball because he knows that if he does, then he will be cheating.
Mike, even when he is all alone, is being honest by not cheating.
That is another sign of integrity.
Mike might end up losing the golf game, but at least he knows he played the game honestly and with integrity.
At Tigerfish Software, making a promise to a client, and keeping your word, is a sign of integrity.
The promise could also be completing a sprint on time and on budget, and thereby keeping your promise to your team, and keeping your promise to Tigerfish Software.
Or it could also be something as simple as submitting a form on time to a client when you said you would.
At Tigerfish Software, we should be priding ourselves on the fact that when we say something, we then do it.
Other examples could be the promise from the Sales team to a client in a meeting, or from Pre-Sales, it could be the promise to deliver a proposal by a certain date.
We should be doing what we need to do to increase the goodwill of Tigerfish Software. Every small honest positive step will ensure we build a company with strong morals and integrity.
The point I am trying to make is that when we at Tigerfish Software keep our word, we are then creating a culture of integrity within our workplace.
When anyone hears the name Tigerfish Software, then that name should resonate with trust, with staff who keep their word, a company of integrity.
I know someone that, many years ago, went out for supper with their partner and another couple.
They had a lovely evening and at the end of the evening they received the bill.
The bill seemed to be a bit less than what they expected, but they had had a few drinks as well, so the reality of the difference did not set in.
Later that evening, after they had left the restaurant, this person realised that the reason the bill was incorrect was that they were not charged for their starter meals.
This person raised the issue with the friends, and they laughed it off, by saying: “Good luck to us”.
Well actually, that is incorrect. The establishment are out of pocket for the evening. The waiter has been short changed and will need to pay the money in himself.
This person went to the restaurant the next day and asked for the manager. The person asked to pay for the starter meals from the previous night.
The manager said that they had cashed up for the previous night and it does not matter, but thanks for your honesty.
The person in question said: “Will it matters to me, so here is the money. I will then know that I have honoured my bill. If you decide to give the money to the waiter or put it in the tip jar, or do something else with it, then so be it, but for me, I need to pay this money”. And with that, he left the money on the counter, and left the establishment.
That, in my opinion, is integrity.
Doing something that you know is right, and perhaps to your detriment, but doing it nonetheless and not expecting a reward in return.
So, what is integrity?
Being honest in the workplace, at home and at leisure, that is integrity.
Making a promise and standing by your word, that is integrity.
Doing the right thing when no-one else is looking, that is integrity.
Doing the right thing when you know you are not going to gain from it, that is integrity.
What is integrity?
It comes from within, and it starts with you.
Delwyn Nel – GM Service Delivery