The World Wide Web a/k/a the Internet has raised transparency, even accountability, to unbelievable levels. Between 2004 and 2005, the research shows buyers online often visited 10 or more sites before making a purchase.
Access to Information is easy. It is comparable to an ever-rolling stream that seeps into all cracks, crevices, branches, and estuaries. Sometimes it overflows banks and dams. Dov Siedman, in his book, How, gives an example of what can happen these days when Integrity goes out the window and there is something to hide. The results can be devastating.
Sideman’s case in point concerns one David Edmondson CEO of RadioShack. When he joined the company in 1994, the executive fabricated lines on his resume claiming degrees in theology and psychology from Pacific Coast Baptist College in California. In 2006, after just eight months at the top of his profession, he was found out. A curious reporter from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram tracked it down and discovered the discrepancies. The head of the company was forced to resign, his business career in shambles.
What prompted the reporter to take a second look? Her name was Heather Lindy, and she learned of an interesting circumstance. A top executive who was said to have started two churches was scheduled to go to court on his third drunk driving charge.
The invaluable, timely, timeless cardinal virtue of Integrity is grounded on the truth. The first question of Rotary International’s esteemed Four Way Test asks “Is it the Truth?” Falsehood, fabrication, the fudge, and the lie are among its deadliest adversaries. Let all, who will, see their consequences, writ large in the case of RadioShack’s top executive. He is not alone, of course, there have been many others.
In this age of transparency, with the tentacles of YouTube and other informational devices too numerous to name, reaching ever deeper, Integrity and its handmaiden—the truth—are of greater value, now more than ever.
Professional speaker, Jim Thomas, and Alliance for Integrity, LLC offer free upon request An Integrity Checklist and An Integrity Credo, for suggested guidance at groups, firms, and organizations. Contact email@example.com.