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Three Steps to Building Teams of Integrity

Situational Integrity is not Integrity.

We had the word Integrity on the walls in all our meeting rooms. It was one of our team values. We even spent time at the beginning of meetings discussing each of the values and how we needed to embody each of those values. But there was a problem – me.

The way I operated on a day-to-day basis, both inside and outside of work, did not live up to the standard of Integrity we claimed to live by as a team. The individuals on our team were good, hard working people. They truly wanted to be part of a team that lived by those values. Unfortunately, as the leader of that team, I consistently compromised my Integrity based on the situation.

Situational Integrity is not Integrity. I knew what the right thing to do was in 99% of the situations. The problem was that I was too willing to rationalize and blur the lines. As the leader of that team, that created uncertainty and destroyed their confidence in me. My inconsistency in applying Integrity to my actions and my words hurt our team.

There are three critical steps to exercising Integrity: Know – Do – Say.

  1. Know: What’s the good, right, and proper thing to do.

  2. Do: Acting on what we know is right, even at personal or professional cost.

  3. Say: Speaking out on why we made the decision to do the right thing.