I am releasing my fourth book titled, “The Alliance House of Values and Behaviors in late January. In it, I outline what each of The Alliance’s eight core values means and how they pertain to what our company does together and for our clients all over the United States. Previously, I’ve covered Excellence and Service. This week, I’m going to write about Integrity.
For each of our eight values, I’m picking a person in history that I believe best represents each value that The Alliance believes in strongly.
The following is from my new book I co-wrote with Jeff Bright:
The definition of integrity is a firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values.
Do you know who Anjeze Gonxhe Bojaxhiu was or what she did?
That’s OK. Most people don’t know her by her birth name. However, most people have heard of Mother Teresa (now Saint Teresa) of Calcutta, and they know she lived her life with great integrity.
She dedicated her life to helping people – specifically those who lived in poverty. It was her “personal mission to provide for the physical and spiritual needs of the poorest of the poor while living among them.” Throughout her life, she put the needs of others in front her own wishes.
“We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop,” Mother Teresa said.
She gave far more than she ever received, yet is one of the most famous people in the world. My guess is that her heart was full because she believed and lived with great integrity and a servant’s heart. There are countless stories told by people about small acts she committed in an effort to improve their lives.
Mother Teresa specialized in the branch of medicine, surgery concerned with childbirth, and caring for women who has given birth. She went to Calcutta where she opened an “air school for slum children and began to teach them Bengali alphabet and basic hygiene.”
Her life, her time and all her money was used to improve the people and causes of those less fortunate. As word spread of the work she was doing, people took notice and realized she need financial backing to help even more people. This led to major financial support, which allowed her to further her mission to help those in need.
She often faced dangerous conditions and environments that could have led to her death, but she didn’t stop what she was doing. She operated in a manner where she believed her life was worth risking to truly make a difference in the world.
In 1950, Mother Teresa founded the Missionaries of Charity, a Roman Catholic religious congregation with more than 4,500 sisters. They were active in 133 countries in 2012. They helped manage home of people dying from HIV and AIDS, leprosy and other ailments. They fed people who otherwise would have no food. They provided education for children and helped the poorest of the poor.
Upon her death on Sept. 5, 1997 at the age of 87, Mother Teresa had received an impressive list of honors. The list is quite staggering. She earned the Ramon Magsaysay Peace Prize (1962), Albert Schweitzer International Prize (1975) the Nobel Peace Prize (1979), Presidential Medal of Freedom (1985), numerous honorary degrees from universities and was canonized in September of 2016. More importantly, she impacted thousands of lives for the better and made an impact that will carry on for generations to come.
Mother Teresa once said, “If you are humble nothing will touch you, neither praise nor disgrace, because you know what you are.”
She never had to worry about what she did in life because her integrity and beliefs were so strong. She didn’t waver or stray from helping those in need, and she was rewarded by being allowed to help more people as her supporters learned more about her and the needs of her mission.
We believe strongly in integrity and the influence it allows us to have on people from all walks of life. When you encounter people on a daily basis, do you think first of how you can impact others or do you think about what people can do for you? The world could use more people thinking more like Mother Teresa did when it came to her integrity.
POSTSCRIPT: Integrity happens when disciplined conscience merges with authentic mindset and ethical competence. Some of the traits of integrity deal with guilt, loyalty, transparency, sincerity, honesty and consistency. To have high integrity, you need a guidance system, unwavering commitment, openness, be real, truthfulness and wisdom and beliefs and conduct.
Those traits are big in how successful you can be in business. Those traits are not just words and they are to be taken seriously. Some of those traits are the very reasons that people give up on their dreams. When you deal with people, you have to know other people are going to disappoint you and let you down from time to time. It can be easy to get discouraged when this happens, but you have to continue to find the good in people and keep pushing forward for the goals and dreams you have for yourself. I can’t tell you how many times people have disappointed me, but that doesn’t stop me from moving closer to my goals. I keep pressing. I keep doing. I keep moving. That’s what winners do: they keep going and doing even when it is hard.
That’s some of what I wrote to help illustrate Integrity in my new book. There’s a lot more to help explain what it means to be a person of high integrity in the book. I hope that many of you will consider picking up a copy of The Alliance House of Values & Behaviors. I believe this book will kick start an amazing start in 2019. We’ve spent months putting this book together, and I am so excited to share the final product with the world.
Can you quickly take out a sheet of paper and make a list of five areas where you can improve when it comes to the behaviors involved with integrity? We can all improve, and we should be thinking about ways to operate with greater integrity. Keep working on your list and changing as you continue growing in your personal and professional life. This is a simple exercise that can pay off for you in ways you won’t even believe.