Integrity has struck a chord. A deep chord it seems. And it does seem that there is consensus about the notion that integrity and accountability go hand in hand. Kind of chicken and egg – I guess – but if you have one, the other seems to tag along. And as I have suggested before – business or personal, public or private – integrity is a driver of relationships, passions, business deals, engagements and success. More on success in another posting.
I always find it helpful to look up synonyms for words I get enamored with. I had an English teacher in High School, Mrs. Edith Schrank – we called her Dame Edith – who drilled the Bard into us and planted in me a lifelong obsession with reading the New York Times every morning before work (school in her case). “Children…all successful people read the New York Times in the morning. It gives you something to talk about…fuel for intelligent and thoughtful conversation….” Back to synonyms – besides literature and newspapers, she loved words. And she taught me the proper use of a thesaurus to better understand language, connotation and denotation – check those two words.
Anyway, back to Integrity – truth, honor, reliability, and uprightness. I used only a few – but look at the broad yet interconnected associations. From the basic tenet of truth to the near religious experience of uprightness. From the heights of pure admiration to the down and dirty of good old dependability. Integrity is rich with meaning and association.
It’s also instructive to look at antonyms – opposite meanings. And, here, the source is unforgiving and brief – dishonesty. Slam dunk.
Based on this, I have found a quote that I felt encapsulated the idea:
“If you have integrity, nothing else matters; if you don’t have integrity, nothing else matters.”
May nothing else matter….
What’s your view?