Integrity is important because it shows that you’re honest and will defend your moral principles to the death. Of course, over the years, it’s become a term that’s almost as overused as “creative.” But that doesn’t diminish its importance.
So, what’s the definition of integrity according to the Cambridge Dictionary?
“The quality of being honest and having strong moral principles that you refuse to change.”
Still trying to understand? Then, here’s a list of principles in others that could indicate that you have a strong sense of integrity.
1) The principle of good time-keeping
Did you know that 52% of Americans are late for work at least once a month?
I work in a business where deadlines are tight, and being late for work can jeopardize my income. If I don’t manage people and instill good time-keeping habits, I won’t have a job. And that’s why I’ve fired incredible workers for a lack of punctuality countless times.
If you value someone who values your time, you believe respecting people’s schedules is a marker of good integrity.
But it’s not just about turning up on time. It’s also about playing fair, which is why I place such high praise on the following traits.
2) The principle of giving credit to others
High-integrity operators will accept credit but won’t take it from someone else. Think how angry a manager taking credit for an initiative you started would make you if you’re unsure why this is so important.
If you respect others who give credit where credit is due, you believe in the value of integrity.
After all, taking credit from others, like Thomas Edison, who took sole credit for the invention of the incandescent light bulb, is the easy option. Not taking this road shows that you consider integrity necessary and essential.
3) The principle of being authentic
Everyone wants to be authentic these days. It’s one of those words that has lost all meaning, but genuine authenticism still exists if you search for it.
If you’ve got integrity, you’ve got a love for honesty. You enjoy being around people who are always in their truest forms. You’ve got no time for liars, emotional manipulators, or fake people.
That’s why people with the integrity trait are people you can rely on when the going gets tough. If you’re honest and you won’t tolerate dishonesty, the chances are you are a person of integrity.
4) The principle of standing by others
Standing up isn’t always the easiest thing, but sometimes it’s necessary.
When someone is down, you don’t value spotting blood in the water and going in for the kill. It’s not the style of high-integrity people, either.
Take Bernie Madoff, perhaps the most notorious financial fraudster in history. With his Ponzi scheme, he took advantage of countless charities, celebrities, and individual investors, resulting in his conviction in 2009.
And that’s everything people of integrity aren’t. They lift others up rather than kick them while they’re down.
5) The principle of staying civil
Disagreements evolve into arguments, and arguments evolve into full-blown wars. This isn’t something that you’ll find among people who show integrity.
It might seem small, but when I think about how much time I’ve spent arguing about things that don’t matter, I wonder what else I could have been doing instead. I wonder what I could have done instead to avert those wasted battles. That’s why, today, I value those who can keep their emotions under wraps and speak in a civil tone.
And men of integrity think the same thing. But there’s another trait I value just as highly. Read on to learn more.
6) The principle of second chances
If you feel like the world is more cynical than ever, you’re not wrong. Several studies have shown up to 48% of workers are somewhat cynical.
It’s not the usual cynicism reserved for politicians, news networks, and used car salesmen, either. This is cynicism that’s run rampant, and that’s why integrity seems to have vanished from the world.
Why the rarity? Integrity means seeing the best in people. It means giving them the benefit of the doubt.
That said, the principle of second chances doesn’t make you a pushover. And here’s why that is.
7) The principle of excellent intuition
Integrity isn’t just about the individual. Upstanding people also possess a sixth sense of feeling and reading the room.
They find it easy to spot when someone feels down and needs some help. While an emotional manipulator might recognize and move on, integrity means people who act on their intuition.
For example, if you spot someone in the office welcoming the new guy on their first day, that’s someone who possesses a high degree of integrity.
8) The principle of trusting others
Cynics view trusting people as setting themselves up for a fall. And in the age of our current political discourse, you can see why.
For example, take pathological liar Representative George Santos as an example. He’s been caught lying about his Jewish heritage, where his money comes from, running a Brazilian animal charity, and working for Goldman Sachs, among countless other things.
Does possessing and valuing this principle make you vulnerable?
In a sense, yes, but the key is that you’ll only pull the wool over the eyes of a man of integrity once. They’ll always trust you but betray that trust, and you’ll never win it back.
Here’s more about the traits that separate a person of integrity and the Great Unwashed.
9) The principle of accountability
Accountability is hard to embrace, especially when you make a bonehead move. But this is the principle that separates the authentic from the pretenders.
Are you capable of admitting you’re wrong? Do you expect that same thing from others? If so, you value integrity, and you practice what you preach.
Integrity is characterized by being quick to admit fault and slow to take credit. But that doesn’t mean you make a big deal about a grand apology. Read on to find out why.
10) The principle of humbleness
“Stay humble” has become something of a sports tagline recently. You’ll often find it being bandied around by NFL commentators and NBA press conferences.
But it’s not a new campaign slogan.
If someone has integrity, this is just how they are. In some cases, integrity may mean not knowing your worth, but that’s okay because others know it through your actions.
Again, never see being humble as a sign of weakness. Integrity means you still have a loud voice to remind people who would otherwise take advantage of you.
11) The principle of charity
It’s easy to see charity as that thing you do annually when trying to reduce your federal tax bill. Cynics would argue this is the only reason America is the world’s most generous country.
But the principle of charity doesn’t have to apply to dollars and cents. Those with integrity help others wherever they can, whether they’re needy or not.
Integrity means you get a buzz from knowing that you have improved someone’s life in some way. It gives you the meaning that you need to thrive.
And who doesn’t want to make the world a better place?
12) The principle of always doing your best
You don’t have to put integrity on a pedestal. Yes, you might admire these characters, but it doesn’t mean they’re incredibly skilled or the best at what they do.
They’ll never guarantee results but always pledge to do their best. Take educational activist Malala Yousafzai, whom the Taliban shot for attending school. She’s not the best activist in the history of the world, but she’s persistent and has remained steadfast in her efforts, which is why she’s so effective.
This is the principle of doing your best and always aiming for the highest standards. Hang around with integrity, and you’ll never have to worry about taking shortcuts.
Here’s another awesome trait that makes integrity even more valuable.
13) The principle of the follow-through
Patting yourself on the back for a job well done or sipping a beer as you bask in your reflected glory is a time to be proud of yourself.
But if you’ve got integrity, you don’t stop with a finished job. You’ve got follow-through, so you’ll continue to provide support as long as your friends, family, and co-workers need it.
And this is why business integrity sets the standard for future success. You can rely on these people personally and professionally to go the extra mile – even when things don’t shake out like you expected.
Integrity vs. True Integrity
As many people like to talk about integrity as those who rattle on about being authentic or embracing workplace diversity and positive corporate culture. Lots of talkers exist, with only a tiny minority practicing what they preach.
Integrity isn’t expressed through words but actions. To improve your integrity, watch out for the behaviors above and commit to change.
You can’t force integrity on others, but can lead by example. So, what do you value the most about integrity.