A long time ago in a not so distant land, there was a company called Enron, a natural gas pipeline company, which had the following core values: Respect, Integrity, Communication and Excellence. These key words were to be the cultural DNA of the company and were to guide all employees in how they worked with each other and their customers. And as the history books point out, having these core values is not the same as understanding and living those core values.
As leaders, the concept of integrity is very important. We want to be people who adhere to a code of moral values and to work for a company where ethics and morals are more than words on a page or a section in an employee handbook. We want to be people who do things right and who do the right things.
Yet, as an executive coach, I often have to point out that while every company wants to put integrity in their core values, few spend ample time exploring and teaching what it means. Because within a successful company and with successful leaders, integrity is a mindset, i.e. a mental framework, and a core set of behaviors that is utilized daily and lived daily. It is an inside the person thing rather than an outside the person thing.
This week, sit down with your team and begin the conversation about what is the definition of integrity. Explore with them what is an ethical mindset and what are the ethical behaviors that come from this mindset. You will find it a helpful and in-depth learning process for all involved.