Integrity is what you do when no one is watching; it’s doing the right thing all the time, even when it may work to your disadvantage. Integrity is keeping your word. Integrity is that internal compass and rudder that directs you to where you know you should go when everything around you is pulling you in a different direction. Some people think reputation is the same thing as integrity, but they are two different things. Your reputation is the public perception of your integrity. Because it’s other people’s opinions of you, it may or may not be accurate. Others determine your reputation, but only you determine your integrity.
Integrity is critical to everything we do because it is the foundation of trustworthiness in our own eyes, in the eyes of those around us, and in God’s eyes. Integrity is also a critical element in marriage. Can I count on you to be my marriage partner? Do you mean what you say when we exchange those wedding vows, or is it only for better…or better? Do I have to worry about you having an affair because you aren’t honest in other areas of your life? Can I count on you to do what you say you will do, no matter what may come along to make it difficult?
For me, it means doing everything I can to make sure that my wife Lauren is comfortable and confident. In coaching, the nature of the job, the hours put into work, and the number of times I spent away from home created enough hardships for her; I don’t want to add to that by causing her worry or stress. I do everything I can to make sure that Lauren has complete confidence in me and our relationship.
From the moment you are born, you—and you alone—determine whether you will be a person of integrity. Integrity does not come in degrees—low, medium, or high. You either have integrity or you do not.