Archive for April, 2011


An Integrity Credo: Do You Have One?

April 28th, 2011
Jim Thomas

  An Integrity Credo is a statement of beliefs. What kind of beliefs? Beliefs in those forms of upright conduct that enhance trustworthiness; build good reputation; magnify the brand; defeat alluring temptations; impede the ill-advised compromise. They include conduct that  elevates confidence hence valuable relationships—among friends, clients, customers, vendors, and investors.

 Such beliefs concern behavioral integrity—a simple idea but often difficult to put into practice. Where promoted and affirmed via a written credo, however, the pay offs are substantial. The dividends are concrete.

 The Credo differs from a Code of Ethics. Though they come with many variations, A Code—in the generality—is prohibitive. It sets forth rules, restrictions, regulations, and the like, for which violations are disallowed.

 A Credo and a Code are not exclusive. Each is complimentary of the other. Separate and together they produce benefits to all concerned.

 Consider developing a Credo for your office, business, corporation, and organization. Reduce it to writing. Post it for easy visibility. Think about requiring staff and employees to sign off on it, indicating they have read it and intend to honor it. While every Credo requires adjustment to circumstances at hand, it is hoped the following may stimulate ideas as you go about drafting one.

 The Integrity Credo of ABC,(firm, company, group,etc)

 The Following Tenets of Integrity are Applicable to All.

  1.  I shall act and perform my duties grounded on the truth.
  2. I acknowledge that truthfulness is the foundation of trustworthiness and reputation.
  3. The organization’s trustworthiness and reputation are of supreme value. I shall endeavor to raise and protect them.
  4. I will openly express my views and opinions when called upon. And, when the failure to do so could prove harmful.
  5. My conduct and behavior shall be consistent with my own beliefs of upright conduct and my organization’s’ highest traditions, ideals, and standards.
  6. I shall keep my word in matters small and large
  7. I shall make a conscientious effort to perform as promised, when promised, in the manner promised.
  8. I acknowledge that reliability in all endeavor is a virtue, and I shall strive  to cultivate it.
  9. I stand responsible and accountable for my actions, conduct, and behavior.
  10. 10.  When wrong I will admit it.
  11. 11.  When confronting a problem or a material issue, I shall avoid the expedient, the easy way out, or avoidance and will rely upon the tried and true.
  12. 12.  I acknowledge that my Integrity and that of the organization means, among other things, doing the right thing, at the right time, for the right reasons.

A Church Lays a Stone Hard Foundation. With Integrity, You Can Too.

April 19th, 2011
Jim Thomas

In the year 1927, in the small town (pop. 950) of Patterson, Pierce County, Georgia, a band of Baptists set out to erect a new church. When it came time to break ground and lay the foundation cornerstone, all were in agreement. Lester Dixon, who was there that day, who would later become the ordained minister of the church recalled, “We wanted a firm foundation, one that  hell itself could not shake.” They found it at an abandoned grist mill that had served the community in former times—a one-ton, circular, grind stone.

 It became the church cornerstone, and the church still stands. Membership has grown from a few dozen to several hundred. Three times they have expanded the sanctuary.

 The cardinal virtue of integrity is to persons, professional practitioners, businesses and organization as the old millstone is to Patterson Baptist Church. It forms an impregnable underpinning, one upon which all advantages ultimately rest. Among them: trustworthiness and reputation—loyal friends, customers, and clients—confident owners and shareholders—magnification of the name, brand, products, and good works.

 Where approved and confirmed, a foundation of integrity encourages doing the right thing, at the right time, for the right reasons. It means we deliver as promised, when promised, in the manner promised. The lie, hypocrisy, and expediency are put to flight. Alluring temptations have little chance.  Impeded is the ill-advised compromise.

 How firm is your foundation?

The Bell Rock Lighthouse and Foundations of Integrity

April 13th, 2011
Jim Thomas

Eleven miles off the east coast of Scotland in the North Sea stands the Bell Rock Lighthouse. Since 1811 it has stood firm against the onslaught of that sea’s violent storms. The small reef from which it rises is covered by seawater for 20 hours of every day. The builder, one Robert Stevenson and his band of 65 skilled workmen had only four hours each day to chink away stone and gouge a foundation in the bedrock. As result of their superb craftsmanship, painstakingly undertaken, under demanding conditions, the 115-foot lighthouse stands tall and remains in use to the present day.

 A good way to think about the indispensable virtue of Integrity is as a firm foundation. Of the person, the organization, the practice, the calling. It forms a rock-like basis for trust and reputation. It enforces purpose, braces commitment, avoids the alluring temptation, and defeats the ill-advised compromise.

 How? By standing firmly by the right ideas, those that withstand scrutiny and in some manner are beneficial to all concerned. Stated differently, by doing the right thing, at the right time, for the right reasons.