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Exploring the science and magic of Identity and Access Management
Saturday, May 25, 2024


Author: Mark Dixon
Monday, September 26, 2005
5:40 am

: "1) Steadfast adherence to a strict moral or ethical code.
2) The quality or condition of being whole or undivided; completeness."

My oldest daughter asked me to jot down a few of my ideas about integrity.
Please let me share them with you.

As the listed definitions suggest, integrity has two critical components:

  1. Mental and physical adherence to a strict moral code
  2. Undivided consistency in a persons life: in thought, speech and action,
    whether public or private.

The foundation of a strict moral code enables a person to avoid the flighty
whims and consequences of popular sentiment. Jesus recommended building houses
(our lives) on foundations of rock instead of sand because strong foundations
can withstand the virtual hurricanes of opposition we experience in our lives.

The second aspect of integrity is absolute consistency between the inner and
outer self, between public performance and private behavior, between spoken
word and demonstrated action. The word Integrity comes from the same root word
as Integral and Integrated. Both these terms imply wholeness, completeness or

Based on these two concepts, integrity denotes complete and consistent internal
and external commitment to a concrete standard of ethics and morality.

A person with integrity lives by some simple rules

  1. Always do what is right, regardless of the short-term reward for doing otherwise.
  2. Be willing to accept and speak the truth, even if the truth is not popular
    or what people want to hear.
  3. Promise only what you can deliver. Deliver what you promise.
  4. Be true to your ideals, even in the face of criticism and ridicule.

Some examples:

  1. A man of integrity does not set himself up as a paragon of faith and virtue
    in the community and then go home and beat his wife.
  2. A woman of integrity doesn’t promise the moon to get an order and then weasel
    out of details when it’s time to deliver.
  3. A woman of integrity has the courage to turn down a business deal if underhanded,
    illegal or unethical behavior is required.
  4. A man of integrity does everything within his power and more to make sure
    he delivers what he promised, even if that means enduring demeaning ridicule
    or forfeiting compensation.

So why have integrity? Isn’t it tough to live this way? Wouldn’t it be easier
to accept popular concepts of relative morality?

People of integrity engender trust, that time-tested, foundation principle
of meaningful relationships. In the end, when the chips are down, when things
are crumbling around us, people of integrity are ones people count on. They
are the ones people turn to for advice, for counsel, for solutions to tough
problems. They are ones who can be trusted.

Why? Because morality and ethics really do count. Truth is truth. Right is
right. Wrong is wrong. I’ll put my trust any day in people whose lives are rooted
in a bedrock moral code and and live in absolute consistency with that code.


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