Integrity Matters Broadcasts

July 1, 2004

Dear Friends:

The United States has recently paused to remember, affectionately, our former President, Mr. Ronald Wilson Reagan, who died on June 5, 2004. A part the Reagan legacy was his challenge for each of us to “appeal to the best hopes and not the worst fears” of those about us. As far back as the 1970’s when first he ran for governor of California, he emphasized two concepts: integrity and common sense. The death of this former President has enabled me and many others to observe how millions are showing respect for a fellow human being, his simple early history, his remarkable achievements and his personal charm. Common sense requires taking seriously and then applying the wisdom and good will of those who have gone before us. Certainly, Ronald Reagan’s death offers us another opportunity to rekindle constructive thoughts.

Independence Day is an occasion to think seriously about where we are in the steady march of time. July 4, 1776, is not simply one date in history that represents the launching of a new nation. Rather, July 4, every year, provides us with an annual day for reflection, celebration and renewal. It is important never to forget what once was good and could be good again: namely, our nation’s highest principles (freedom, democracy, and sacrifice) and promises (opportunity, social responsibility and charity). Please consider the following three steps for implementing stewardship.

Here’s hoping for you and those you care about - a pleasant 4th of July and a safe summer season.


CHARITY: generous community stewardship (Attribute # 7)*

Does your organization reach out to those in need?

*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. 32-33; Torchlight, 2004


Step 1: Accept stewardship responsibility for all of creation, not simply fellow human beings.

Stewardship and Recycling

Question: I live in England. Do you think companies should be obliged to provide recycling facilities in their offices? My manager thinks I am asking for too much. He says I am just being a hippie. Since I disagree with him, how am I to argue my case?

Response: Recycling is a modern-day response to compensating for the multiple ways human beings have both constructively used and destructively abused the earth’s natural resources. The need to argue the case for recycling seems to offer no added value to those who might enter such a debate. Here are two simple and straightforward truths...

Click here for the full response

Step 2: Take a page from some Californians who are leaders of the Salinas Valley Agribusiness industry, recognizing that stewardship for the land is a key to the success not only of traditional row-crop farming, but also for others who depend upon the earth for the necessary natural resources to create and support products and services. It makes both dollars and sense to be good stewards of the land and the earth’s natural resources as well as its people.

Leaders agree on ethics principles

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Step 3: Make sure to seek those who have the charitable dimension before hiring or being hired.

Hiring the Right Person

Question: My insurance company hires aspiring younger people, those between ages 28 and 40, then we spend about two years educating and training them in our specialty. We open our client files to these newcomers to our industry and we equip them for success using our knowledge and experience. We pay them while they learn and expect them to re-pay us with several years of service and loyalty.

Over the past decade, and especially more recently, we have noticed a very disappointing trend. These valuable individuals leave us, shortly after their two year orientation and take with them our contacts and our intellectual property, seemingly without remorse or guilt. When confronted, their responses vary, but one theme bursts through all of their explanations and rationalizations: we are doing nothing that is illegal.

Is this an integrity issue? If it is, how can we address it and stop this waste of time and money?

A Concerned Founder of an Insurance Firm

Response: Integrity is at the heart of your story, really saga, of individuals landing on board your insurance boat, eating your business food, only to leave your employment with the mess created by their premature exit…

Click here for the full response

Our August Broadcast will address Attribute # 8: Graciousness: respect and discipline, answering the question: Does your organization demonstrate care and concern for all stakeholders?

Thank you again for helping to constructively communicate that, yes, it is true: Integrity Matters.

Implementing charity and generous community support are simply common sense.

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