Jay Rifenbary

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Integrity: A Key Core Value

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Integrity is an important core value, is a positive leadership trait, and is a principle of behavior used commonly to define the character of a person. So I ask you, “What is integrity?” The Oxford Dictionary definition of integrity states, “The quality of being honest and having strong moral principles: moral uprightness.”

How do you know if a person possesses integrity? Well, do you enjoy dealing with people who are indecisive, say one thing and then do the opposite, or who are inconsistent? Probably not. When you are around individuals like that you often lose respect for them because they are not displaying integrity.

Consistency in behavior is the first step to understanding if a person has integrity. However, that’s not the whole picture. You can probably cite many examples of people who have been consistent in their convictions and beliefs, and in the process have destroyed societies and decimated humanity.

The other component that gives integrity its meaning and therefore credibility is morality. Morality is defined in the same dictionary as, “The extent to which an action is right or wrong.” Certainly that definition can be left to an enormous amount of interpretation. There are some who believe that exterminating others simply because they do not believe in the same God as they do is completely moral. Regardless of some form of structured religion, I define morality in my life as how I treat another human being, and I believe we should treat one another with dignity and respect.

Finally, integrity is the barometer in evaluating the level of trust within a relationship, family, and organization. Trust is the glue of every established human connection. When trust is broken, the relationship is never the same. It is comparable to a broken bone. It may heal, but it is never what it was. Therefore, keep the bond of your relationships continually strong by consistently striving to be a person of integrity. By living a life of integrity and maintaining that bond of trust with those around you, you will have established the character of an individual respected by all.



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