“He lied!” “She lied!” “They lied!” Integrity used to be expected from people in positions of leadership … the very people we expected could be trusted. Sadly, it seems that this is becoming less the norm. Where does loss of integrity start? How does it continue? Why isn’t it stopped?
A rabbit named Thumper (in the book/Disney movie) lived his life by a simple philosophy based on the Golden Rule which underlies much religious and philosophical thought (aka ‘love of neighbour’ in thought, word and action): “If you can’t say somethin’ nice, don’t say nuthin’ at all.”
Perhaps this decline in integrity begins when words of respect, love, kindness aren’t accompanied by respectful, loving, kind action? Perhaps this decline in integrity continues when there is little or no accountability for the lack of connection between words and actions?
Liza Dolittle in ‘My Fair Lady’ sang “Don’t TALK of love … SHOW me” which could easily become a springboard for other ways to model integrity: Don’t TALK of honesty … SHOW me honesty. Don’t TALK of truthfulness … SHOW me truthfulness. Don’t TALK of compassion, transparency … SHOW me compassion, transparency.
Some leaders say “Trust me.” “Believe me. But I don’t want them to TALK of trust, I want them to SHOW me I can trust them and SHOW me I can believe in them. Sadly, there are leaders who show the opposite. And Tragically, there are people who don’t take Maya Angelou’s words to heart: “when someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.”
Integrity … what is it? It’s a “concept of consistency of actions, values, methods, measures, principles, expectations, and outcomes … the honesty and truthfulness or accuracy of one’s actions.” Integrity … don’t talk … show