Integrity Matters Broadcasts

February 1, 2005

Cultural Integrity

Dear Friends:

Your organization's behavior, and your own behavior, is the world's window on you and your values. Cultural integrity is congruence between what you say and what you do. Are the behaviors of those in your organization (including your own actions) consistent with the values that you stand for? Just as friction burns up engines, conflicting behaviors erode effectiveness, productivity and profitability. Cultural buy-in means consistent follow through in terms of what we do and how we do it. If the "front line" sees hypocrisy between the statements of senior leaders and their behavior, they can be immobilized - or worse, given permission to behave destructively. Then, when the outside world sees a disconnect between the plaque on the wall of promises made and the actual behaviors of those in your organization, your very own integrity can come into question.

Dr. Harry Emerson Fosdick, theologian and pastor, stated, a long time ago, that: "We must stand for something, lest we fall for anything."

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 exude integrity.

As many of you know, our next book, "Integrity Pays" illustrates the positive benefits of constructive behavior. It literally pays to behave, personally and professionally, with integrity. In one of our very early interviews for "Integrity Pays" an octogenarian summarized the responsibilities of senior executives, top leaders, with two words: Spread Hope. In his own success story, this gentleman became an international corporate giant. He inherited a family business and proceeded to propel the enterprise into a global trend setter. He credits his success to hard work, timing and always giving top priority to the highest principles of integrity.

To know where you stand, evaluate your answers to the questions around our Eight Attributes. If you have any hesitation in answering "yes" to these first Eight, then let us know. We can help you sustain an Integrity-Centered organization.

A university student asked the following questions and challenged me to "dig deep" for a substantive response. Obviously, our every action is a model for someone to emulate. The pressure never lessens for exhibiting integrity-centered behavior by responsible adults, including all public figures.

Three questions about the sources and impact of integrity:

  1. At what point in your life Mr. Bracher, did you find out that the concept of integrity was important to obtain long-term success; where did you find out that integrity really mattered?
  2. How did you learn about integrity as an important aspect in one's life?
  3. What are the beginning steps towards preparing and building a good sense of integrity for one's self?

Sources and Impact of Integrity


Mentors, role models and friendships. Those are my answers to the three questions. The first question asks how I found out about integrity and how it related to long-term success. The answer is that the insights and lessons about integrity came from my own observations along with clear counsel from two individuals who worked in education and business. Each was to become a life-changing mentor. Mentors are those caring individuals who come into our lives with a lot of encouragement combined with a directness and clarity that challenges us to always become the very best that we can. To read the rest of the response,

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To thrive in 2005, leaders must make fully alive cultural integrity through individual accountability. Plaques on the wall will not be enough. Motivational speakers and workshops will not provide sustained vitality. Rather, cultural integrity will be built one transaction at a time with constructive words spoken, legitimate priorities chosen and courageous actions taken. Cultural integrity can be as simple as showing up on time by honoring a commitment with respect, personally or professionally.

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One phrase about effective leadership seems to apply as it relates to cultural integrity. The challenge is to make a decision and choose to lead , follow or get out of the way.

Our March Broadcast will address Investment Integrity. Would you like to know what you need to do in order to reduce risks related to investing in leadership teams and business organizations?

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Thank you, in advance, for confirming your receipt of our February 2005 Broadcast. We are eager to expand the integrity conversation and need to know that our efforts are reaching you.


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