Monday, September 14, 2009

Integrity...Pass it On, Thrive Learning Institute

What is Business Integrity?

When I was a little child I was taught that integrity is doing the right thing, even when nobody else is looking. It's something that is not open for debate, either you have it or you don't, there's no gray area. Henry Kravis once said “If you don't have integrity, you have nothing. You can't buy it. You can have all the money in the world, but if you are not a moral and ethical person, you really have nothing”. So, in a sense, integrity is everything because, without it, you have nothing.

Is Integrity a Lost Cause?

So, do you think integrity is a lost cause? Sadly enough, there are people out there who believe it is. They think that the world is going downhill so fast that there is no stopping the decrease of ethics and integrity in business or otherwise. The thing that they don't realize is that it only takes one person to make a difference when it comes to business integrity and ethics.

When I was in College, the professor of my capstone class gave us each a quarter in a plastic case with a quote illustrating the integrity we had been taught all our lives and while we were attending the University. The quarter is to help us always remember a story he told us about a man who, when at an airport, saw an associate of his drop a quarter in a paper box and then proceed to remove one paper for each of his associates, including himself, without paying for them. The man who witnessed this returned to the paper box and proceeded to drop in a quarter for the paper his friend had intended to give him. The second man, witnessing this, returned to the paper box, thinking nobody was watching, and inserted a quarter for each paper he had taken out of the box for each of his associates.

Both men learned something that day. One learned the importance of integrity and the other learned that integrity is in deed not a lost cause.

How Do We Uphold Integrity In the Workplace?

Charles Caleb Colton once said, “Nothing more completely baffles one who is full of tricks and duplicity than straight forward and simple integrity in another”. Put simply, if you want to maintain integrity in business, you better have integrity yourself. Employees of Thrive Learning Institute value integrity and ethics in the work place. They know that upholding the integrity of the business world begins with one person and it grows from there. That one person is you.

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