Integrity Matters Broadcasts
October 1, 2004
Since individuals are chief executive officers
of them-selves - or, at least, should be, for October
we are focused on Executive Integrity.
- What is it?
- How does one exhibit it?
- What are the consequences when it fails?
- Who are your "executive integrity" role models?
#1 Executive Integrity can
be defined as successful individuals who
know who they are and how to leverage their own values,
knowledge, skills and abilities to generate enhanced
productivity. Effective executives capitalize on the
complementary assets of their colleagues. Perceptive
leaders leverage the individual and interpersonal integrity
of those with whom they work in relation to principles
and values that define organizational integrity. Skilled
leaders assist others in the successful utilization
of individual talents and team effectiveness. Perceptive
executives seek methods to ensure continuous improvement
for themselves and those with whom they work.
Integrity is the keystone of leadership. It is reflected
in discussions, decisions, directives and diagnostics.
Leadership emerges from listening, demonstrates character
in behavior, and leverages energy with integrity. Integrity
is the stabilizing factor that sustains effort and causes
energy to create the canopy for accomplishment. Integrity
enables the achievement of Vision.
#2 How does one exhibit it? The
following letter came from a first-year college student.
He found out that he was and is, in fact, CEO, of his own
life. With some anxiety, he confronted the colleagues mentioned
in his question and chose the integrity-centered path.
You will read why he may have chosen to exhibit executive
A group of my buddies smoke marijuana on a regular basis. They do not leave
the garage where my friend lives while high, so they only do harm to
themselves and thankfully not others. I want to help them because I know
they are doing themselves harm and breaking the law, but at the same
time I don't want to violate their trust. Is there any way I can help
them without breaking the loyalty of friendship?
Former Georgetown University basketball coach John Thompson has defined
loyalty as follows: "Loyalty is not always saying yes to me. In
fact, it may mean saying harsh things to me. But disloyalty is ever saying
anything negative about me to anyone else." Whether you agree with
his definition or not, one truth is evident. Friends are defined by the
integrity of their relationship. Even the adult-beverage commercials
remind us that "friends don't let friends drive drunk."
For the rest of our integrity-centered
might have encouraged strong self-directed leadership,
# 3 What are the consequences when it fails? Dan
Rather might have insights regarding how "not taking responsibility
for integrity all the time" can change the reputation of
a career and even a large business enterprise, including
one the size of CBS.
CBS News fails its responsibility and the
'real news' test
CBS has finally admitted to being duped and says it was wrong to air the "60
Minutes" episode accusing President George W. Bush of receiving special
treatment in the Texas Air National Guard. I am disappointed and disgusted
with CBS and with Dan Rather for what appears to be a lack of moral and
Are there no consequences for this reprehensible behavior?
News is to inform and educate us. Without trust in the
integrity of the news, how can our society survive?
Do not lose heart. The jury is still out on this recent chaos created by
Dan Rather, CBS and "60 Minutes." Our system will know what
is right and apply sound principles to abuses of power by any segment
of the media, including television broadcasting.
We expect and deserve proper news coverage...
For the definition of real news and media accountability, click
One immediate response addressed to Scott Faust, Executive
Editor of The Salinas Californian suggested that the Integrity
Matters response could have been even stronger
in its condemnation of the actions of CBS and Mr. Rather.
Dear Mr. Faust,
I am a big fan of the column "Integrity Matters" by Jim Bracher
appearing in your newspaper. After reading today's column I feel I must
Jim is indeed correct, the issue brought to light with
CBS and the forged National Guard documents have everything
to do with integrity. However I don't think he went nearly
far enough in his description of this incident. Although
Jim graciously calls for "responsible journalism
in preference to salacious entertainment", this
debacle was not salacious entertainment. You cannot equivocate
Dan Rather's integrity malfunction to Janet Jackson's
It is clear from the details released so far that CBS
activities bear no resemblance to responsible journalism.
It is blatant, biased influence peddling. CBS chose to
enter the same type of underhanded low-life politics
that permeated certain regions and cities of this country
in the 1950's. They have abandoned any role in objective,
responsible news reporting and deserve the treatment
and disrespect warranted by such repulsive behavior.
Equally unfortunate is how wide spread biased news reporting
has become. One need only read a single edition of the
New York Times to see this in action. But there is good
news in all this. The vast majority of Americans see
such bias for what it is and they will judge for themselves.
And they will judge Dan Rather and CBS along with the
important issues they so foolishly tried to influence.
Yes, we do appreciate feedback and ask for your input
as well. And, now, on to our fourth October Broadcast point
#4 Who are your "executive integrity" role
models? In the following illustration,
one can see, vividly, just how important parents are
in shaping values, all the time.
Friend's parents provide graciousness example
You write about integrity and the Eight Attributes. One attribute is graciousness.
Where is graciousness learned? Are there examples? What difference does
Graciousness, which can be defined as respect and discipline, is learned
by constructive examples and positive role models. A friend and I were
discussing where he learned the importance of graciousness, and he, with
moist eyes, passed along this story from his growing-up years. With his
permission, we present his story. It changed him, touched me, and maybe
it will transform and teach those who read it now:
"My father and mother owned a small 'mom and
pop' grocery store in the tough neighborhood, all Mexican
and all poor, where my brothers and I grew up in south
El Paso, Texas. My parents had inherited the store
from my paternal grandparents, who had emigrated from
Mexico in the early 1900s. On Sunday nights during
the spring and summer months, my parents would show
free movies to the neighborhood that surrounded (and
patronized) their store."
"My father would use impromptu barriers to keep
To learn about the dramatic impact
of integrity on family, business success and, yes,
So, who are your executive integrity role
models? What did they teach you? How are you passing along
their lessons? When was the last time that you thanked
them? Do you have an organized plan to make sure their
values are a permanent part of your legacy?
In the last analysis, integrity is
Integrity is congruence between what you say and what you do, as well as
what you say about what you did. Integrity is the keystone of leadership.
The keystone holds the enterprise together at its most critical junction,
where ideas, products and services meet the customer. The keystone enables
the arch to fulfill its supportive mission. Integrity enables an organization
to achieve its mission. Integrity is the strength, unity, clarity and purpose
that upholds and sustains all of the activities of the enterprise. Integrity
provides this stabilizing dimension by never, ever, compromising. Integrity
recognizes risks and assumes responsibility. It drives the realization of
vision toward the enterprise's destination. Leaders (including parents,
friends, colleagues, fellow stakeholders, in fact, every legitimate social
interaction) must exude integrity if relationships are to prosper, economically
Next month, the November Broadcast will
address: Interpersonal Integrity.
In the meantime, please continue contacting
your "integrity concerns and questions."