Ronnie Hoff on Wednesday, 08 January 2014.
To continue our discussion about Magnolia River's core values, let's describe and analyze something we are passionate about: Integrity. This is one of the foundational tenets of Stephen Covey's "Character Ethic." Integrity is what trust is built upon, and trust is required for any good relationship. It is demonstrated through things like loyalty, another Magnolia River core value. Our integrity helps us make and keep commitments, realizing what is truly important. Honesty is a part of integrity, but integrity follows all the way through, full-circle, to keeping our promises.
If asked to list people you know who exhibit the most integrity, who would come to mind first? I would guess you might start with your parents or grandparents, or maybe a teacher or close personal friend. What about a boss or co-worker, or maybe a client? What type of profession comes to mind when you think of people with integrity? Maybe preachers, teachers, policemen? What about engineers, surveyors, and GIS professionals? Now, would you be on your friends' and co-workers' lists? What one or two things could you do to be on more lists? And whose list or lists are most important to you? And on how many lists can you effectively be? You do need to prioritize because trying to do too much and never saying no is an easy way to wind up breaking promises. But that is a topic for a whole other blog post. For me, this type of questioning is a good exercise to put myself through to remind me of my priorities.
Ultimately, integrity is a key component of Covey's Character Ethic. From "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, the Character Ethic teaches "There are basic principles of effective living, and that people can only experience true success and enduring happiness as they learn and integrate these principles into their basic character."
If we lift the hood and look closely at the engine that drives the Character Ethic, we begin considering other principles like loyalty, courage, justice, humility, and other qualities our preachers and parents worked on with us. Even if they did not think we were paying attention at lesson time, those basic character traits surface when we need them. Turns out those folks who helped us grow up were pretty smart about what matters in life.
The right thing is not always the easiest thing. With so many shiny gizmos and other distractions out there promising instant gratification, we have to say no to more and more offers of a quick fix. We can say no because we understand they don't provide for what we need in the long run. And with such a great support network of friends, colleagues and clients at Magnolia River, all living by common values, it is a pleasure to go to work and make a difference while providing quality solutions for long-term success.
Thank you all for being part of my full circle.