Monday, 24 September 2007

Anyone for integrity?

I've been thinking a bit about integrity lately - troubled by a colleague's apparent inability to grasp the concept and their willingness to exploit every opportunity for the benefit of their department, whatever the greater good might demand.

If this sounds sanctimonious, then maybe it is! I know that I sometimes cross the boundary between being right and being righteous.

Anyway, a couple of articles on this topic caught my attention, over at Mark Sanborn and Harvard Business Online.

So, I've been thinking: 'Is there a distinction between public and private integrity?'

Now when phrased like that the answer seems obvious (it's NO for the avoidance of doubt). But if you re-phrase (as my colleague might), along the lines of remaining true to yourself, being pragmatic in public, avoiding discord, or recognising the realpolitik in any given situation, you can begin to see how people justify their actions to themselves.

Nevertheless - leading with my chin as usual - public and private integrity are indivisible, they always will be, wherever that leads me. And I know that it will lead me into further conflict with my colleague.

How else can we be light in this (sometimes) dark world?


His Girl Friday said...

This almost sounds like the argument of the 'ends justifying the means', perhaps, with regard to the work situation. Not that it makes the actions right. I've always thought of integrity as doing the right thing though no one is looking.
I've been reading on another blog where the writer is talking about the 'death of character'...he mentions similar thoughts as to your question of integrity, esp in reflection on this day and age. I'll have a look at your links, thanks. :)

Endlessly restless said...

I've been thinking about this, and as i was reflecting on the book about Luther that I've posted about, I was struck by the need to maintain principles at all times, but be wiser about choosing the battles that I fight over them.

Thanks for the comment.