• Published
  • By John Veirs
  • 97th Maintenance Directorate
Don't worry, this is not another core values lecture or trip down mentorship lane, although each in their own right are great concepts. No, this is simply about doing the right thing, and if you keep your integrity in-check, you've got a good shot at doing what's right time after time. Why an article on integrity? Look around at the world today, and it's clear to see the economic turmoil and troublesome world we live in didn't get that way because everyone had the best interest of others in their heart and mind. It is quite the opposite as we live in a time where there are those that first ask 'What's in it for me?' Before going on I'd like to remind you of the definition of integrity: integrity is adherence to moral and ethical principles, soundness of moral character, honesty. In order to remain honest with you the reader, I will freely admit much of the following commentary came from exhaustive internet research; research sounds much better than using the term plagiarism.

As government employees, civilian or military, it's imperative we have sound moral values, impeccable character, and integrity that can withstand the closet scrutiny. A quote by W. Clement Stone is one of my new found favorites, "Have the courage to say no. Have the courage to face the truth. Do the right thing because it is right. These are the magic keys to living your life with integrity". Take a moment and think of those friends, co-workers, and leaders you admire most. I'm sure some of the primary reasons you admire them are because they're honest, trustworthy, and their integrity never falters. Try never to admire the person who appears to have a firm lip lock on the behinds' of managers or supervisors, but if you do please beware. Their level of self-perceived integrity normally varies like the soup-of-the-day, and they'll throw you under the bus depending on the situation and what's in it for them. If you still admire this type individual I'd ask you please start reading this article again from the start and continue to do so until you obtain the correct concept of integrity.

Among the various articles I read, perhaps the most thought provoking was by Brian Tracy, CEO of a human resources company, 'Becoming a Person of Integrity'. Two statements he made closely align with how I believe, and are very appropriate for our work forces. To paraphrase them in a nutshell they are (1) When you start a little earlier, work a little harder, stay a little later, and concentrate on every detail, you are practicing integrity in your work, and whether you know it or not, your true level of integrity is apparent and obvious to everyone around you (2) Integrity is the number one quality of leadership. Integrity in leadership is expressed in terms of constancy and consistency. It is manifested in absolute devotion to keeping one's word. The glue that holds all relationships together - including the relationship between the leader and the led - is trust, and trust is based on integrity.

As I close in on my 500-plus word allocation I'd like to leave you with a few thoughts. Your integrity is your willingness to follow your values, never wavering, or compromising your beliefs. Remember if you make a promise be it in your personal or professional life, no matter how hard it may be to keep, you must. Each act of integrity only makes your character a little stronger. The one thought I live my life by, and stick by no matter how heated the situation may get is simply "It's not who's right, it's what's right".