Many times people think integrity is doing what they said they were going to do no matter what.
A lot of times what it boils down to is doing the right thing even if admitting you were wrong before might be the right thing to do.
“Back in the day”, people used to think about what they were going to say before they actually said it. That was one of the things that characterized Shakespearean speeches. Flowery language was actually used and it was a creative process to speak to someone. Letter writing and book writing was a manual process. There were no quick deletes or spell checks. Making an error meant starting a new page.
Many times today we speak or text or email automatically without considering the impact of what we’re saying. Texting and emails and phone calls have the same problems. It’s very quick and easy to send or delete or change the communication with someone between phone calls and emails and texts. We need to take a moment to think things through before we commit to something. But more importantly, if we realize that what we have committed to is the wrong thing to do, or is based on inaccurate information, we need to talk to the people we committed to so we can get everybody on board to do the right thing.
When people are depending on us we need to go ahead and do what we are supposed to do and that, sometimes, is inconvenient. That’s one of the main points of integrity: Doing the right thing even when it’s uncomfortable, inconvenient or maybe even a little embarrassing.
A motto we always used when we were learning to scuba dive was stop, think, act. IBM was world-famous for its single word motto that appeared in all of its offices and that word was THINK.
Today we need to pause, to think, to take a breath before doing something, doing anything, before we do everything. But when you know it’s the right thing, do it.