Integrity Matters Broadcasts

November, 2004

Interpersonal Integrity

Dear Friends:

November 2, 2004, is Election Day throughout the United States of America. The Bracher Center's monthly Broadcast, dedicated to improving productivity through the adoption and application of integrity-centered business values, is focused on what we believe to be the long-term best interests of our society. A constructive, values-driven culture that is propelled by a strong, integrity-centered economic engine, will frame the appropriate choices our nation's voters are called upon to make in electing leaders, at every level. If the United States is to be successful at exporting products and services, and especially free enterprise and democracy, then the quality of each should be required to pass the integrity-centered "sniff test."

When the "promises" of products and services do not "smell good" - whether business driven or politically motivated, then there is a pretty good chance that something rotten has happened. Usually this means that there has been a failure on the part of those making commitments. Often these are the very same people who would have us believe that they should be in charge, ought to be elected, or least at the top of the "preferred providers" most deserving of being selected. However, when certain counter-productive actions do not match the noble-sounding words, whether for business gain or political influence, then fear, uncertainty and doubt will creep into the mix, causing mistrust and weakening the impact of the organizations themselves, whatever their mission. Deals are lost and so are elections. It really is about the integrity.

As we know, when mistrust occurs in business, insolvency often follows, opening the door, ideally, for new, innovative and often more dependable competitors. In the same way, for politics and government, history teaches that moral, intellectual and economic bankruptcy may even spell the end of a culture and a society - possibly including democratic systems and free markets. It is important that voters make the correct selection. And, yes, we believe The Candidate Integrity Test© could be helpful. See the recent press release below:

How to Be Sure You Are Voting for the Best Candidate

Give Your Candidates the Integrity Test©

Monterey, California - How does one choose for whom to vote? Vote along party lines? Vote for a candidate who supports issues important to you? Each of these methods makes sense, however they both have a gaping loophole - they neglect the single most important factor when choosing the best candidate.

"Barring any egregious or offensive political position, the best candidate regardless of political party, is one who possesses integrity", says Jim Bracher, co-author (with Dan Halloran) of Integrity Matters (Torchlight Publishing 2004) and corporate integrity expert. "If a candidate does not possess integrity, then how can he or she be trusted to keep promises, promote important campaign issues, and represent the interests of all constituents?" asks Bracher.

Candidates for elected offices, including those pursuing the presidency, are cheered when they criticize competitors, while demeaning members of opponents' families, including spouses, children and even parents. According to Bracher, those who engage in personal attacks are seeking the voting public's sanction for their vile rhetoric, and this venom will poison the body politic and destroy the democratic organism that is the promise of America, where fair play and civility are supposed to reign supreme.

"Fortunately, integrity can be tested and measured," says Bracher. "There are Eight Attributes of integrity that are true for both organizations and individuals". Bracher maintains that the integrity attributes of Character, Honesty, Openness, Authority, Partnership, Performance, Charity and Graciousness are all critical for achieving meaningful long-term success in any organization.

Bracher founded the Bracher Center for Integrity in Leadership in 2002. The Monterey, California based Center shares insights on integrity that have been gained through 24 years of operating his leadership development firm, Dimension Five Consultants, in consultation with 8,000 leaders representing many industries.

Bracher suggests giving your candidate the following integrity test before voting and making your choice of the best candidate to be responsible for sustaining our freedoms.

The Candidate Integrity Test©
The Bracher Center for Integrity in Leadership, 2004©

Rate your candidates on how well they exhibit the eight "constructive" behaviors. On a scale of 1 to 10, (10 being excellent) - how is the candidate rating? If he or she is not exhibiting the right behavior, let them know and demand reform.

1. CHARACTER: consistency between word and deed.
Does ______________ exhibit congruence between what is said and what is done, as well as what is said about what was done?

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

2. HONESTY: truthful communication.
Do you have confidence that ____________ would never engage in, or sanction misrepresentation?

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

3. OPENNESS: operational transparency.
Does_____________ make appropriate information about their activities (and those of their key personnel) readily available? Do they promote an atmosphere of openness and receptivity?

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

4. AUTHORITY: source of encouragement.
How well does __________ empower and delegate others to solve problems? Are their actions supported?

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

5. PARTNERSHIP: honor obligations.
Does _________ pride them self on timely fulfillment of all commitments?

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

6. PERFORMANCE: accountability throughout the organization.
When individuals, including senior executives, under-perform repeatedly, are they given due process and then, if necessary, replaced?

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

7. CHARITY: generous community stewardship.
Does __________ reach out to those in need? Are they alert to the opportunity to serve the less fortunate?

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

8. GRACIOUSNESS: respect and discipline.
Does _________ demonstrate care and concern for all stakeholders? Are they nurturing relationships?

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

The Candidate Integrity Test© has been provided to you, the reader, in anticipation of the upcoming elections in the United States. However, in reality, every interaction reflects, in some way or another, the Eight Attributes of an Integrity-Centered Organization. How well individuals score may determine their longer-term impact; and sometimes shorter-term as well. To be objective about one's own behavior, soliciting feedback to confirm accuracy, can go a long way in improving the quality of life, both personally and professionally. Whether an individual is a candidate for public office, an executive leading an organization, a parent or spouse guiding relationships - family member or friend -- the need is high for interpersonal integrity. Here is one way to assess your own, utilizing our "mirror" for accuracy and immediacy.

Interpersonal Integrity: portrayed by our "mirror"*
The Portrait© Process*

*A "mirror" offering increased self-awareness represents the greatest single opportunity to leverage interpersonal integrity and effectiveness. Objective behavior information obtained through an in-depth effectiveness study helps leaders recognize their strengths and vulnerabilities. The Portrait© is more than a snapshot. The interpretation and application of the data capture the capacity and the potential of the individual.

The Portrait© provides insights that enable our clients to know when, where and how to function more effectively. Interpersonal integrity causes executives to be more at ease with their leadership responsibilities, supervisory roles, and organizational relationships. The Portrait© provides an accurate mirror for leaders as they build on their interpersonal integrity. The team application of the Portrait© process creates an environment between and among team members that fosters trust and loyalty, enhancing productivity.

The Portrait© serves as a building block to improve communications with colleagues. By learning more efficient ways to understand, appreciate and accommodate diverse management styles, productivity can be increased. Six benefits of the Portrait© are:

  • Refined listening skills
  • Faster communication
  • Clarity on issues
  • Vision which calls for action
  • Culture that shapes operating behavior
  • Team member engagement

Thank you again, for helping to constructively communicate that, yes, it is true: Integrity really matters, in business, personally and politically, and, yes, it matters, all the time. When Jane and I went to the Election Office to vote absentee, we saw this poster and wanted to share it. It offers wisdom and a reminder: "Sometimes it takes a four-letter word: VOTE!"

Please vote!


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