The word integrity comes from the root, integer, which if you remember from math class, is a whole number – no fractions or decimals. So Integrity means to be whole and undivided.
Wikipedia’s definition: Integrity is a concept of consistency of actions, values, methods, measures, principles, expectations, and outcomes.
Integrity is perhaps our highest and most valuable commodity. When we possess it, people trust us and want to be associated with us. They will do business with us and they will proudly and confidently recommend and refer us to their people.
If they feel that we have a lack of integrity they will not do business with us or want to be associated with us at all. The more likely situation is that they have a thread of mistrust caused by a sense that our integrity is weak. When they feel this, they may or may not do business with us. If they do, they will be suspicious and cautious which doesn’t build a powerful collaborative partnership and even more importantly, they will not recommend or refer us.
Most of us can act with integrity most of the time but what really matters is how you act when it gets challenging. Do you take short cuts when your time is really crunched? Do you truly act in your client’s best interest even when that commission would mean the difference between making this month’s mortgage payment and not making it? Would you compromise privacy or confidentiality rules if it meant getting a deal and you were sure no one could find out? Reach into the deep crevices of your soul and really ask yourself the tough question – how committed am I to my integrity?
In my experience, many of us act with integrity until it’ hard…and then we falter
Sometimes, we experience actions from people, even from those we know and like, that become integrity breaches. When that happens we can be surprised at how quickly our thoughts of them change. We still like them as acquaintances, we just wouldn’t do business with them and we wouldn’t recommend them.
And sometimes, like a young man I know, people show incredible integrity in the face of financial challenge and I am excited to tell the world about the young man I know.
In sales, integrity matters – a lot.