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“Just Tell Him I’m in a Meeting”

December 08 2010

I remember hearing those words from my new boss.  I sat in the office next to her and thought, no she’s not, I wonder why she just doesn’t tell him she’d like to speak to him later. From that point on I questioned her integrity because in my mind if you are willing to lie on the little stuff, won’t you lie on the big stuff?  Whenever she was making a her case for a decision and bringing in evidence I remember wondering if what she was saying was true or no.  Once integrity is breached you got big issues.

Do you know someone like that?  This speaks to someone’s integrity.  Integrity is making the right decision even when no one knows.   Why is integrity so important?  The statistics on employee theft are staggering. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce estimates that 75 percent of all employees steal at least once, and that half of these steal repeatedly. The Chamber also reports that one of every three business failures is the direct result of employee theft. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, employee dishonesty costs American business in excess of $50 billion annually.

$50 Billion!  People stealing from the company they work for?  Isn’t that like vandalizing your own neighborhood?  Even though companies have integrity policies they are depending on people to know and want to do what is right.  To do what is in the best interest of the company even when it may seem to conflict with  what is in their own interests.   That is why hiring individuals who embody, live this quality is so important.

I’m certainly not saying that you must always get it right, Lord knows that I have not.  It comes down to, was the attempt to do the right thing made and if it wasn’t was there an attempt to make it right.   Individuals with integrity will consistently make good choices because it is part of who they are.  As one VP put it, it is part of their DNA.   Never compromise when hiring, this quality must always be present.  Hire on a WHIM will help you identify and ask the right questions to get to the heart (and I do mean heart) of the matter.

Do you have an integrity story to share?

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