It Comes Down to Integrity

four failures in integrityIf you take a quick look back in history for the last 20 years or so, integrity in business has seemed to take a huge hit.





If any of these names seem familiar to you then you can relate to what I am talking about.  All four were giant, multi-national companies that had equally giant implosions due to a lack of integrity inside of the business.

Wells Fargo and Integrity

More recently, Wells Fargo Bank had a major issue as well.

Wells Fargo had withstood the economic downfall in 2009 but then in 2013 a L.A. Times article reported on a management and sales culture that created incredible pressure on employees. It was then uncovered that to meet quotas employees were establishing credit cards for customers without their permission. They were also creating life insurance policies and fraudulent checking and savings accounts. Estimates are close to 3,500,00 fraudulent accounts!

Customers had accounts they didn’t know about that carried fees. Credit scores were damaged. In the end, Wells Fargo had to pay back almost all the fees and pay damages to customers. All in all, it was over $110 million. In addition, they were fined over $185 million. Consequently, many major clients divested themselves of WF holdings

Integrity That Drives Business

For contrast, look at Johnson and Johnson, the makers of Tylenol.  One of the items in their mission statement is that they will do all things with “honesty and integrity”. They have placed a huge focus on the well-being of their customers as being vital to their success.  Executive management is asked to agree to and commit to all of this in order to be part of the organization.

Putting It to the Test

Back in 1982, there was a big scare with Tylenol.  Several containers had been tainted with poison and several people lost their lives as a result.  Within hours of the discovery of this, the President of Tylenol ordered the immediate removal of all containers of Tylenol from store shelves across the country. This despite the fact that this would cost the company millions of dollars (over $100 million).  Someone later asked him how he could make such a decision so quickly in the face of the consequences involved, including the financial hit.  He responded that he was simply acting in accordance with the values they had agreed upon from the very beginning.
“It is not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are.” -Roy Disney

The result today

Tylenol is one of the most trusted brands and Johnson and Johnson is doing well.

Integrity Matters!

It is the foundation of creating long-term, sustainable success in your career or your business. If you don’t have integrity, it becomes clear to everyone sooner or later. It permeates everything you do, everything you say, and everything you say about what you do.

Build integrity to build success.

So here’s three things you can do to build or maintain your integrity:

  1. BE TRUSTWORTHY – It starts with honesty.  It continues with showing respect to everyone.  Give it before they earn it and until they unearn it. Be consistent in how you treat people, with caring, consideration, kindness, and politeness.
  2. BE RELIABLE – Don’t ever promise what you can’t deliver and always deliver what you promise, no matter the cost.  Let people know what and who they can count on.
  3. DO TOUGH, UNPLEASANT THINGS FIRST – The benefits for you is that it gets em over with, it makes the rest of the day better by comparison, it gives you confidence, helps people develop confidence in you, and identifies you as one who can get things done.

What are other qualities you can think of that demonstrate INTEGRITY? Share your thoughts here or contact me at psimkins(at)