Why integrity doesn’t matter any more that gravity.

Posted by Kurt Daradics on December 04, 2009

Integrity schmegrity. Consider the baseline of diminishing integrity phenomena. Most folks don't play at 100% integrity, and that's why they get less that optimal results. Consider that the difference between 100% and 99% integrity is literally vaster and deeper than the Grand Canyon.

Here's the deal, it seems to me that most folks run a 'cost benefit analysis' on integrity, or in other words having integrity where it "matters" but then letting things 'slide' where it doesn't.really matter or they think no one will find out. So for example, someone says tothem self, oh it's no big deal, I'll just fudge a bit on this, but I'm still playing a "A" game at 97% integrity, but this is the illusion, because then they end up sliding on that number too, and they end up at say 92% integrity. That's thebaseline of diminishing integrity phenomena.

It helps me to think about integrity like it's gravity, literally a physical law. We either have it or we don't. But in this context I'd like to take out any moral or virtuous notions. Perhaps think of it in terms of performance, like how Lance Armstrong thinks about it and the sacrifices he makes to achieve his level of performance, or how perfectly tuned a race car (and driver) needs to be to win the Indy 500. The good news is that when we find ourselves out of integrity (ahem, we're only human after all) we can restore it simply by being real and authentic about how we haven't had it, and voila it's back.

For me, committing to 100% has been a bit like climbing up the high dive and instead of it being 10 feet it's 10 meters, but the experience of diving in and surfacing is so refreshing and exhilarating. This is the best way to describe my experience in 2009, which when I look back on my life will no doubt be the year I came to terms with what it really means to be honest and real.

For anyone feeling like they're stuck in a rut, or want to take their game to the next level but can't figure out how, this would be the first place I would look. Here is a framework that I use that has been helpful.

  • Be honest and real. Some might call this 'authenticity'. In other words, let's take off our masks and stop pretending.

  • When we find ourselves being inauthentic then just knock it off, acknowledge it, clean it up, and be amazed once again how gracious folks are with us when we admit our faults and show how we've taken responsibility for it.

I'd love to hear of any insights or stories you might have that speak to how important integrity is to creating a world that works. Seriously imagine a world where integrity became cool!!?? Now what effects do you think this would that create?

**Full disclaimer, some of these thoughts were inspired by some classes I took with Landmark Education. Sometimes controversial, sometimes annoying, always thought provoking, I encourage anyone who's interested in Socratic dialogue and transformation to check out Landmark.