Whilst overused as a term of reference in positive psychology and corporate spiritual literature, one has not invested time enough to determine wherefrom the term 'INTEGRITY'' has been imported into Management though it lays great stress on its assessment and exhibition by leaders.
Surprisingly mathematics. An 'integer' is a number that cannot be divided into fractions. Only by 1 and the number itself. To that extent there is wholesomeness in its reference and thus its attractiveness for import into Management sciences.
A man of integrity isn't divided against against himself. He is whole. He doesn't think one thing and say another...to that extent he is not in a state of conflict with his own principles. Does not lie as he is never torn by a state of internal warfare. Thus compact ... one within and not divided !
Integrity means total 'Confidence'. No projections. If you say you can do it, you can. If you say you have done it, you have. There is no scope for someone else's work being projected as yours ! It thus evokes trust and reliability.
Integrity means a total 'Sense of Honour'. Honour is much beyond honesty. In my thinking it is a higher value. The legendary 3 promises that King Dasrath gave to his saviour wife to be when she saved him and his chariot stuck in a mud-pit. Years later when called upon by Kaikayee to live his promise, he did not finch. Albeit he knew the motive and realised that the purpose was wrong. He could have claimed amnesia. He could have accepted having made that promise (thats honesty) but could have excused himself from fulfilling it for whatever valid reasons. But he did not. Boldness. Even against the state's desire, he honoured the promise. Thats 'honour'. Thats integrity.
Integrity is about listening to your inner voice of consciousness. Not letting the noise around disturb you. Brave to stand up clearly despite being aware of the adverse consequences of insistence. But men of integrity, when have they ever worried about consequences...?? Raja Harischandra....a promise is a promise is a promise and has to be fulfilled. Thats integrity. In a way it encapsulates elements of courage and persistence - a single-minded conviction to purpose.
No one can ever force you to give your best or to live upto it other than yourself. Only you can make your conscience obey...outsiders cannot force or influence. Often times in my coaching assignments, senior leaders narrate their life-experiences of how often in adverse moments they felt let down by their Boards and reporting Managers who blame them out right and not take any responsibility despite being totally a party to the said decisions which may subsequently be under a scanner...sad. Look how everybody at PNB in the Nirav Modi fiasco is now blaming the poor lowly paid bank clerk who signed the papers that lead to the financial scam...as if he would have signed those papers without active permission (not connivance) from the top dogs in the bank !!!
Man of Integrity are calm. Shock resistant with built-in equanimity to calmly meet the consequences of commitment. They do not cry or broadcast their subsequent limitations and greatness.
So when one appreciates the quintessence of 'Integrity' as a value, it is easy to say we all are man of high integrity but scratch the surface and see if there are many who can be identified as Men of Integrity' and you will get your answer !
Integrity - this valuable dimension of leadership cannot be acquired after one acquires the corner office...nor two offices before that. Nor by attending courses at any Ivy League schools which teach credit courses on Spirituality ! It is wholesomeness that has to be developed and nurtured rather early in life as part of ones composite personality development by parents and teachers in schools. It is a life-art and cannot be powder ripened in laboratories.