Integrity as a concept has always fascinated and influenced me all my life. The colleagues whom I work with, would know exactly what I am saying here. Integrity as a value is very close to my heart and I know that it’s one of the most significant ways to restore your power. But recently, I saw Integrity in a new light and in a much larger context, which opened a new space for me, expanding my thought process. It is: “Integrity with Yourself.”
The Merriam Webster dictionary, defines integrity as a “state or condition of being whole, complete, unbroken, unimpaired, sound, perfect condition.” From an individual point of view, Integrity is a necessary condition for workability. The resulting level of this workability then determines for an individual the available opportunity set for their performance. And it is not right or wrong, bad or good. It is just a precondition to performance, but doesn’t necessarily assure great performance or positive results.
This is also defined as “Ontological Law of Integrity” i.e., to the degree that integrity is diminished, the opportunity (set) for performance is also diminished.
Integrity for person is only about honoring your word and nothing more, nothing less and honoring your word in not about keeping your word. Because keeping your word is simply impossible & non achievable, unless you are playing a small game, living a limited life and do not have much to accomplish. For this above given description, your word is defined as:
· What you said and by what time you said you would do it
· What you know and doing how is it is meant to be done
· What is expected, explicitly expressed or otherwise
· What you stand for
· Moral, ethical or legal standard till the time you publicly express your intent to not keep it and are ready to take the consequence
From the whole new expanded understanding of Integrity, the thing that’s touched me the most is “Your Word to Yourself”. Integrity in life begins with yourself. Generally, people including myself, started the conversation of Integrity with honoring our words that we have given to others but do not realize that the whole concept of being whole, complete, unbroken, unimpaired, sound, perfect condition is not possible without you having integrity with yourself.
Honoring what I say to myself when I say I am a person of Integrity, that is the beginning and end of being a person of Integrity. Just imagine the last time you have given your words to yourself that you would read that book tomorrow and that tomorrow never came, the day you said you are starting your morning walk and when that day came, you just gave few reasons to yourself, with all this we have undermined ourselves as people of Integrity. It has been observed that most of the people who say that they are people of Integrity are constantly acting inconsistently with their view of themselves. For lot of them including me, it almost never occurred that if I am not honoring my words I will risk the state of Integrity even while honoring my words given to others. It has a direct correlation. And as I mentioned earlier the Ontological Law of Integrity, the loss of Integrity will directly affect the performance opportunity and we won’t achieve what we could have achieved otherwise.
In conclusion, the time you start honoring your words to yourself, you are building the foundation of self-discipline and with this you would be more powerful in dealing with situations, relationships and will create an access for expanding yourself and create on-going success for yourself.
I need to give credit to the paper on “Integrity: A Positive Model that Incorporates the Normative Phenomena of Morality, Ethics, and Legality — Abridged (English Language Version) which inspired me to write this & share with you my learnings. You can find the complete paper here.
I would be happy to hear your thoughts on Integrity and how it is giving access to your success.
About Sachin Khurana
Sachin Khurana has over 10 years of experience and has worked with organizations like Lodha Group, TCS e-Serve International Ltd., Value One & Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces. Sachin holds a Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.), Human Resources and Organisational Development from Delhi School of Economics.