Given an option whom would like to be associated with? Do you want to be with a person who is honest and ethical or person who is dishonest and corrupt? Majority of us will choose the person who is honest and ethical, i.e. a person with integrity. We all like to associate ourselves with a person with integrity, a person who is not only sincere with themselves but also with others. The word integrity is derived from the Latin word ‘integer’ which means whole or complete. It says a person has integrity when there is no gap between intent and behavior. In other words what you see is what you get.

“Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters” – Albert Einstein

People are uncomfortable let alone but even seeming to being allied with a dishonest person. Nobody likes to burn their fingers. Being involved with a corrupt entity or person is like having a perpetual anxiety attack as on every occasion especially during essential dealings, you doubt about whether they will come through. No one wants to be constantly anxious hence they would they distance themselves from such kind of people or entities. Warren Buffet CEO of Berkshire Hathaway and world-famous investor has put forth this point in a very nice way saying “I look for three things in hiring people. The first is personal integrity the second is intelligence, and the third is a high energy level. But, if you don’t have the first, the other two will kill you.”

There is absolutely nothing you can do that will increase integrity faster than learning how to make and keep commitments to yourself. Making commitments builds hope; keeping commitments builds trust. Only when you keep the commitment to yourself, will you be capable of keeping the commitment with others effectively. It is a straightforward equation i.e. if you are not true to yourself you can’t be true to anybody else.

Demonstrating integrity even when it is costly also says a lot about the character of a person. In 2005 tennis champion showed this while playing against Fernando Verdasco. It was match point in favor of Roddick. When Verdasco hit his second serve, the line judge called the ball “out,” and it appeared the game was over and the crowd began to cheer for Roddick. But Roddick saw what others had missed; he said that the ball was “in” and called the umpire’s attention to a slight indentation on the clay court which proved that the ball landed on the line and not beyond the line. The umpire over ruled him and awarded the point to his opponent. Although Andy Roddick lost the match that day but, this act which proved costly for him gained him something far more significant i.e. credibility and the trust. His action that day showed the real meaning of integrity, i.e. to stand for your principles, your values even if you don’t gain anything out of it and you can imagine next time he challenges a line call how the umpires or even his opponents would respond.

A person’s integrity is one attribute which stays with him/her until the very end. People identify with them and respect them because of this trait. The higher your integrity, the more credible you are and hence the greater the trust and the more meaningful and long lasting the relationships.