The Four Tenets of Integrity

March 23, 2012

“There are four ways, and only four ways, in which we have contact with the world. We are evaluated and classified by these four contacts: what we do, how we look, what we say, and how we say it.” Dale Carnegie

Mr. Carnegie always had a wonderfully simple way to explain integrity in both life and business. His insights and understanding of sales, relationships, and leadership are especially poignant and are still recalled by many of us to this day. His message of integrity and leadership are so aligned we often take his principles for granted. To most of us they make sense and we are better professionals because of it.

But as we open up the daily papers here in Indiana, or we surf the web, we are seeing an increasing amount of stories that focus on the lack of leadership integrity. It might be a sports story or maybe one that involves business or politics. Indeed news is so instant today. So it is quickly transparent to all of us when a leader is caught with questionable morals and total disregard to integrity.

Leadership and integrity go hand-in-hand. If our leaders have integrity and honesty, it is almost a given that the followers give back trust and respect. Leaders must be followed through thick and thin, good times and bad, and it always is easier to follow the leader when he or she does the right thing.

Leaders need to adhere to the following four tenets:

  • Always tell the truth no matter how ugly.
  • Follow through on every promise no matter how small.
  • Choose to do right even if doing wrong seems the easier way to go.
  • Stick to your principles regardless of outcome.

We all know that leaders have moments of high risk and uncertainty. With the focus on honesty and a righteous set of values, good things happen in organizations; doing the right thing in every instance is what gave Dale Carnegie and his work global impact. Standing up for what is right is something that simply cannot be faked.

Always focus on principle. It gives us the clear direction to help others. Isn’t that what it is all about?

This post is brought to you by the good folks at Dale Carnegie Training of Central Indiana, providers of professional development and management development courses and information in Indiana. We would love to connect with you on Facebook.

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