How Does Integrity Show Up As A Brand?
How much thought do you give to the concept of integrity in your life? Do you know what it really means? How would you know if and when you are out of integrity? How do others show up for you when they are in or out of integrity? Who cares?
I’ve been very aware of the concept of integrity these days. In the Being a Leader program in which I participated in Dubai recently, the instructors brought the practice of integrity to light for us. In particular, Michael Jensen, professor at Harvard Business School, has researched and written on integrity as it relates to effective exercise of leadership as a natural self-expression of ourselves. For instance, did you know that in business most people believe that integrity is a nice thing to have, but not a must?! This floored me.
As I have discovered, integrity is simple to learn about, but not easy to “be”. Basically we are in integrity when we keep our word. After all, we only have our word. What else is there? Don’t panic- there are plenty of times when we just can’t keep our word because of circumstances in our lives. If you can’t keep your word, then you must honor your word. Often, honoring your word is as simple as acknowledging you are out of integrity, apologizing and cleaning up any mess you have caused as a result.
So I started looking around in my own life at where I am in and out of integrity and why. I discovered that I, like everyone else, live in the world of slipping in and out of integrity. You know what I’m talking about. The little white lies, being a few minutes late here and there, etc. However, I also discovered that I’m in integrity more than I knew. Whew. That made me feel better. I also discovered how easy it is to honor my word when I am out of integrity. You’ll be amazed at how far a simple acknowledgment and apology goes- “I am 3 minutes late and I apologize. I don’t have a good excuse”.
In my world of personal branding, when you are out of integrity your personal brand is completely ineffective. It’s a credibility issue and a perception issue. Everyone subconsciously gets that you are out of integrity. Not only that, they don’t want to be around you, much less hire you, buy anything you are selling, promote you, go out with you, etc. You get the picture.
So what does this mean for you? Stop and think to yourself:
- How often are you in and out of integrity?
- Do you do the right thing when you are out of integrity?
- Do you have self-awareness of how your personal brand is impacted each time you are out of integrity? If not, why not?
- What’s one thing you can do to be self-aware of keeping your integrity in check?