Integrity is the Elephant in the Room


“Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind.”
–Ralph Waldo Emerson

This week starts for me overlooking the Leidseplein in Amsterdam from my hotel room. As I reflect over the last week I see the enormous struggle people have with a certain topic they are not even aware of. It’s the topic of integrity. People have huge blindspots around integrity.

Let’s talk about it like this:

How would you feel if you had to fly in a plane that was 60% safe? You’d probably want to avoid it – unless you’re an adrenaline friend. No airline in the world strives for 60% safety because that would create an unworkable situation. Soon the airline would be out of business.

Why? Simple, because planes need as close to 100% integrity as possible.

In most business integrity is nowhere close to 60%, creating unworkable situations.

Integrity can mean:

Doing what you say you’ll do, when you say you’ll do it. 

Keeping promises & honoring your word.

Trust is a key component of all successful relationships – whether business or personal.
Without trust not much good happens.

A trusted mentor once described integrity as;

Doing what you know there is to do and doing it as it was meant to be done.

This isn’t about being perfect or aiming for perfection. It’s just about being honest with ourselves. That’s not always easy to do but the alternative is living with the proverbial elephant in the room, or a mess that’s hidden under more mess. Wherever people are out of integrity, there’s always an impact – on their peace of mind, happiness, creativity, progress, relationships, impact etc.

I was once asked to consider the following questions and found it very

powerful (but not always comfortable!). I invite you to consider these too.
1. Where in your life are you not being your word?
(this includes saying yes when you mean no, making agreements you know you can’t keep etc.)

2. What’s the impact (on you & others) of not honoring your word? Be honest.

3. What conversations are you avoiding that you know are needed? And what’s the cost to you and/ or them?

When people make integrity a priority, things become more workable and magic can happen.