What are the qualities most important in business? It’s a hard question and one with many possible answers. However, when you ask most people this question, an answer you’ll hear again and again is “integrity”. It’s one of these qualities that people can have a hard time defining and one that can often get confused. Some mistake stubbornness as integrity. The reality is that integrity is having established and clear principles that you operate by and refusing to compromise those principles for any reason. It is integrity that separates successful companies for ones that eventually fall.
Integrity is most important in leaders. Good leadership means leading by example and a leader without integrity inspires no followers or the wrong kind of followers. So if you’re a leader looking to show the right qualities, hear what some of the most knowledgeable men and women have to say about integrity.
“Do what’s right, not what’s easy.” Anonymous
“To give real service you must add something which cannot be bought or measured with money, and that is sincerity and integrity.” – Douglas Adams
“Live so that when your children think of fairness, caring, and integrity, they think of you.” – H. Jackson Brown Jr.
“The strength of a nation derives from the integrity at home.” — Confucius
“I prefer to be true to myself, even at the hazard of incurring the ridicule of others, rather than to be false, and to incur my own abhorrence.” ― Frederick Douglass
“Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters.” – Albert Einstein
“The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionably integrity. Without it, no real success is possible, no matter whether it is on a section gang, a football field, in an army, or in an office.” –Dwight D. Eisenhower
“Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
“No man knows the value of innocence and integrity but he who has lost them.” – William Gibson
“Integrity without knowledge is weak and useless, and knowledge without integrity is dangerous and dreadful.” – Samuel Johnson
“Integrity is doing the right thing. Even when no one is watching.” – C.S Lewis
“I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live up to what light I have.” ― Abraham Lincoln
“The greatness of a man is not in how much wealth he acquires, but in his integrity and his ability to affect those around him positively.” – Bob Marley
“Honest communication is built on truth and integrity and upon respect of the one for the other.” – Benjamin E. Mays
“Achievement of your happiness is the only moral purpose of your life, and that happiness, not pain or mindless self-indulgence, is the proof of your moral integrity, since it is the proof and the result of your loyalty to the achievement of your values.” – Ayn Rand
“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.” – W. Clement Stone
“Courage is the foundation of integrity.” – Mark Twain
“If there’s anything that’s important to a reporter, it is integrity. It is credibility.” – Mike Wallace