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Integrity – Then Ethical Behavior

By Zig Ziglar

There is much talk today in America about how to reinstall ethical behavior in the home, school and business environments.  While I applaud the conversations, I believe it’s putting the cart before the horse.  The horse, in my opinion, is integrity.  Integrity is who you are, a measurement of your character and, consequently, the determining factor in your behavior.  Ethics are the result of our integrity.  It’s true that people of integrity will occasionally do unethical things.  However, it will be a rare occasion because, according to Dr. Joyce Brothers, you cannot consistently perform in a manner which is inconsistent with the way you see yourself.

Question: Do integrity and ethics work in our society of today?  Well, according to an article in Forbes Magazine, it worked for CEO John Teets, retired CEO of the Dial Corporation.  I know Mr. Teets personally and I believe he epitomizes what we’re talking about.  According to Forbes, he is the opposite of the cold-hearted CEO, ensconced in an isolated executive suite.  Personal tragedies and early obstacles have made him deeply spiritual.  His Horatio Alger-like rise from mean circumstances has deepened his humanity rather than snuffed it out.  He is generous; he took a keen personal interest in the people who work for him.  He demonstrates that commerce and religion are not incompatible and, in fact, that religion can help an executive be more sensitive to the needs of others, which is the essence of business – fulfilling the needs and desires of customers in an ethical manner.

Message: The good guys and the good gals really do win.  They not only live well, they finish well.  They have more of the things money will buy and all of the things that money won’t buy.  So wake up, America!  Let’s take one step back and build some integrity in our young people.  The ethics will naturally follow.  Think about it.  Live with integrity


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