What it Means to Act with Integrity
JW Way Fundamental #8: Act with Integrity
"Demonstrate an unwavering commitment to doing the right thing in every action you take and in every decision you make. Own up to your own mistakes and apologize. If you make a mistake, clean it up."
We live in integrity-challenged times. It sometimes seems that the people with the least integrity, those who disregard the truth, blame everyone but themselves for their failures, and exalt their self-interest over all other considerations, are the ones who get ahead. So, do we have to accept and join in that approach to life? Let’s hope not. If the JW Way means anything, it is that we reject that approach, regardless of the evidence of success. To act with integrity means to be scrupulously honest – even where no one would recognize a lie; to avoid blaming others for one’s own mistakes; and to refrain from bullying and gamesmanship in our dealings with opposing parties and their attorneys. Or simply to do the right thing.
These concepts are not new, and it takes only a few examples to recognize the concept and the rationale for integrity:
“There is no such thing as a minor lapse of integrity.”
– Tom Peters
“Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody’s going to know whether you did it or not.”
– Oprah Winfrey
“If you tell the truth you don’t have to remember anything.”
– Mark Twain
And a little folksy saying:
Lead your life so you wouldn’t be ashamed to sell the family parrot to the town gossip.”
– Will Rogers
About the Author: Roger Cohen is a partner at the Phoenix law firm of Jaburg Wilk. He has over three decades of experience as a business attorney, representing clients in both litigation and transactions.