Are you working through things or are things working through you?
It is easy to perform when everything is going well. Rules tell us what is right and wrong.
Rules require duty and obedience. These are duly rewarded when the whole is progressing as it should in an orderly fashion. Life is predictable. It is all good.
But everything doesn’t always go well. Rules no longer work.
Duty and obedience are rewarded with injustice. Chaos and confusion rule. Life is no longer predictable. It is not so good.
What to do?
Winston Churchill offered this advice
is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice;
it is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved."
Most of us choose to achieve. Most of us are willing to work hard for our destiny. Yet hard work is not enough.
We need to know how to find the path through the chaos and confusion that will eventually arrive at our door.
In order to understand the future of our choice, we must first understand those who made the right choice in not so pleasant past times.
Many great men and women have spoken to us about integrity. It is a well worn and time proven path to success.
Integrity is defined as wholeness, unfolding and objectivity. It is doing the right thing, doing the next right thing and doing things right.
It makes sense in theory but what about practice?
When viewed as an integrated whole, there are at least 4 types of integrity (personal, process, system, structure) that impact the bottom line.
Integrity within this classification system can then be seen as a definable and measurable standard. By accident or design integrity also comes with established principles and methodologies that require hard work and prudence.
The wholeness element of integrity refers to the way the whole is working.
Is your organization undivided, integrated, intact and uncorrupted? Is your organization taking responsibility for its circumstances, good and bad and controlling what can be controlled?
Your results are predictable. Every organization is perfectly aligned to get the results it current gets.
The unfolding element of integrity is the dynamic nature of integrity.
Heraclitus said “You cannot step into the same river twice, for fresh waters are every flowing in upon you.”
This means everything changes.
As such, any act of personal integrity is a function of habit and reflection.
- As such, any act of organizational integrity is a function of standard operating procedures (SOP) and evaluation.
The habit or the SOP of doing the right thing, doing the next right thing and doing things right is, of course, performance enhancing. It provides power, strength, and consistency even when things are not good.
Sound personal reflection or organizational performance evaluation discerns significant results from natural variation or pretense. The resulting requisite strategy and tactics then continually modifies personal and organizational actions in order to achieve the desired state,
Integrity then is the optimum concept for personal/organizational effectiveness and efficiency.
Integrity is objective. In its ultimate state, it has no corruption, no defects, and no waste.
Remember the motto of Lexus “The relentless pursuit of perfection”.
This is still evident today in the Lexus covenant today that states:
“Lexus will win the race …….
Lexus will do it right from the start….
If you think you can’t, you won’t.
If you think you can, you will.
We can, we will. “
They get it.
Want to learn more? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org . I want to speak to you about integrity and how it can help you and all of us.
Douglas Ross is an advocate for the promotion of integrity as a strategy for performance.
© 2009 All Rights Reserved, Douglas Ross, Principle Dynamics Consulting Inc.