Tuesday, April 19, 2005

What constitutes personal integrity?

People sometimes wonder why I place such high value on personal integrity and character. More than education, skill or personality, a self-grounded moral compass is a critical key to success.

In my job, I have to trust people to always tell the truth, and I rely on my B.S radar to spot posers and folks with questionable values. With my own children, I’ve taught them time-after-time that lying has far more serious consequences than the actual offense.

Today, I surround myself with people that I can trust, no matter what, and everyone knows that saying “I messed up” has a far better result than hurling excuses or dodging personal responsibility.

I never look at my kids College report cards and I trust them to tell me about their grades, good and bad. I demand a 3.5 minimum (if I pay their expenses) and I pay them handsomely for Chancellors List (3.8 or higher).

It’s like what my Dad (a disabled vet) said about personal honor and teamwork. From life-threatening combat down to solving a complicated problem, you must be able to always rely on your team-mate.

Some folks say that I’m too old-fashioned to place such importance on moral turpitude (like paying bills late or plagiarizing), but these acts reveal a great-deal about someone's personal character. According to my old-fashioned moral compass, there is no greater asset.