Integrity Matters Broadcasts
August 1, 2004
This month's Broadcast is in two parts. The first is
a request - we hope a simple one - to help us enhance our
next book by providing a personal insight on Graciousness.
The second is the narrative on our Attribute # 8, Graciousness:
respect and discipline.
On the first, the request, thank you, in advance, for
your willingness to offer responses back to us - this month.
Fortunately, this request requires only the slightest of
effort on your part. We are looking for one or more examples
where you have observed or exhibited the magic of niceness.
We are in the midst of writing our next book, which will
address the ultimate pay-off for integrity which is success,
in a variety of forms. In addition to citing powerful examples
where doing things right in business pays off, we also
want to create a catalog (of sorts) that will serve readers
with constructive examples of graciousness in action.
So, here are some questions to help you get started:
- Where did you observe someone behaving graciously?
- What made the behavior so memorable?
- How did you acknowledge (recognize) the gracious action
- Who in public life, currently, exemplifies graciousness?
- How might graciousness improve productivity, political
enthusiasm and business transactions?
Click here to participate in our research about gracious
Now, on to our second part. What follows are a few illustrations
of what we have learned that promotes and sustains gracious
behavior. Our Broadcast this month is designed to encourage
care and concern - inside and beyond our borders: personal,
political, cultural and economic.
Graciousness: respect and discipline
(Attribute # 8)*
Does your organization demonstrate care and concern
*from Bracher Center's Eight Attributes for Building
an Integrity-Centered Company by James F. Bracher © April
2, 2004; Integrity Matters, Bracher and Halloran, pp.
Step 1: Look for gracious behavior
in everyday actions, your own and the actions of others.
Hoping this prompts you to send us your answers to the
five survey questions in my opening paragraphs, above.
Williams, after losing, proves she's a champ
What a nice lesson in graciousness, given by tennis star Serena Williams, in
showing Maria Sharapova "the ropes" in Centre Court at Wimbledon,
after Maria defeated Serena for the ladies singles' championship. There are
expected behaviors toward the Royal Box at Wimbledon, as well as protocol for
receiving and displaying the championship trophy. Serena was not required to
help Maria, but she did. As a consequence, Maria came across more poised because
of Serena's thoughtfulness. What do you think of this gesture?
Serena Williams demonstrated graciousness in how she
offered reassurance and guidance to a first-time winner
at Wimbledon. In addition, her behavior communicated maturity
regarding leadership and character. Serena may have built
an even more legitimate foundation for her career through
her gracious response in defeat than she might have achieved
in yet another crushing victory.
Click here for the full response
Step 2: Decide not to allow negative
examples to overwhelm your own sense of propriety.
Thoughtless comments by the California Secretary of Education
I was appalled at our state education secretary's remarks to a 6-year-old girl
in Santa Barbara last week! Richard Riordan told the young child that her name
meant "stupid dirty girl" when she told Education Secretary Riordan
that her name meant "Egyptian goddess."
Although he has apologized, his comment was unacceptable. Is this the type
of individual we want as the education secretary for California? What kind
of message is our Governor sending by not asking Riordan to resign?
Children are special because they are young, innocent
and capable of absorbing so very much that adults and the
world have to teach them. They are precious because they
are the stewards of the very culture we bestow upon them.
They are the promise of all of our tomorrows because they
and they alone, are the carriers of hope, healing, and
wholeness in an often despairing, diseased and broken world.
At the moment when any role model, (whether an adult, a
parent, a teacher, a celebrity, a public official or a
member of a state governor's staff), behaves inappropriately,
in the instance you cite, cruelly, then actions must be
Like you, I have seen the video tape of the Education
Secretary Riordan's sarcastic response to this young child.
She cried. He laughed. How utterly unacceptable was his
Click here to review our efforts in August 2003
Step 3: Determine that your own example
of graciousness will teach others the simple truth: it
is not as important what happens to us as it is how we
respond to what happens to us. Coach Mike Krzyzewski of
Duke University teaches us a great deal more than how to
shoot a basketball, he delivers the truth about integrity
in many ways, including graciousness.
Coaching Integrity and Partnership
I read that Mike Krzyzewski is staying at Duke University
after turning down a $40 million dollar package from the
Los Angeles Lakers to become their coach. What a
wonderful lesson in family values and loyalty this represents,
and a nice lesson in integrity, too--do you agree?
Yes, I agree. Hopefully, many individuals across this
nation - especially those in North Carolina or those who
have an affiliation with Duke University - will feel as
you do, and find a way to send to letter of appreciation
to this world-class coach saying something along these
lines: “Thank you, Coach Krzyzewski. If ever we needed
a positive role model in sports -- that time is now. Great
job, Coach K. You embody the message that integrity matters
- in what you say and what you do, every day. Your decision
to stay at Duke University, support its programs and people,
choosing personal values over cash, is an example our society
will treasure, for a long time.” While too many sports
pages are covered with negative stories about performance-enhancing
drug abuse scandals, violence on the ice, on the courts,
on the playing field and in the stands filled with overly-aggressive
fans and parents...
Click here for full response
Our September Broadcast will address WHY INTEGRITY PAYS
OFF FOR THOSE WHO DO THE RIGHT THING, DAY AFTER DAY AND
YEAR AFTER YEAR.
Thank you again, for helping to constructively communicate
that, yes, it is true that Integrity Matters. We appreciate
your willingness to respond to the five questions, introduced
at the top of this August Broadcast, related to graciousness.
Together with your input we are building a legacy of constructive
behaviors for current as well as future generations.