On lack of integrity

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What it is like to work with someone who lacks integrity? Someone who tells you one thing, but actually thinks and does something different. Someone whose words, thoughts and actions are inconsistent. 

Some might think that this person is actually smart. Strategic. Knows what to say whom to say and how to say. Look out for sales people - car salesman is an encyclopedia case. But it just feels as bad as when someone bullshitting you. Especially, when this is a person you happened to work with and trust. And you just know this is bullshit. That person knows this is bullshit. And you might think - hey I gonna tell you that is bullshit. Don't bullshit me. But then what's the point? It won't change anything. The trust is broken. What can you do if the person does not have this basic principle deep in her heart and her mind? 

Not big deal, you might say. People lie. So what? Don't be so dramatic, Sergii. Yet I just can't, don't feel right. I don't feel it's safe to work with such person. And it's not like I just woke up and entered a 'real world', cold showered. Plenty of people like that on the planet in all walks of life, I am well aware of that. 

What if it is your customer? And she is lying to you. How would you respond? Would you still keep serving her? Is lying customer differ from a lying colleague? How about a lying spouse or partner?

Last month I happened to visit Bosch in Suzhou. The quote from the founder stuck with me and I took time to reflect on it: 

Robert Bosch wasn’t keen on making more money, he rather wanted to build his firm’s reputation and people’s trust. “The integrity of my promises, the belief in the value of my products and in my word of honor have always had a higher priority to me than a transitory profit.

I can't teach people to have integrity. Even if you give a feedback, this won't happen overnight. 

But I can watch for myself. How consistent are my thoughts, words and actions.

Bohdan Havrylyshyn wrote in his autobiography that is better not to say anything than to lie. It's an important principle that I follow. And I do not want to have people in my life who can compromise on integrity. Who would want? 


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