I don't disagree with the sentiment - because the sentiment assumes that acting with integrity and being authentic will ensure right doing rather than wrong doing.
They don't - and here's why I think that.
First we need to understand what values are.
Values drive every action whether good or bad, right or wrong. Living our values is, therefore, what every person is doing every second of every day. We are already making our values real - it's an automatic unconscious action we're doing.
We may not always agree with the actions taken by others because the actions may be illegal, unethical or have catastrophic outcomes. A value, however, will have driven the decisions made. For example:
- A desire for security might mean turning a blind eye to wrong doing
- A desire for success might mean someone taking the credit for another's work
- A desire for recognition might mean treating a supplier disrespectfully
- A desire for control might mean not listening to and ignoring others opinions
- A desire for harmony might mean someone saying yes when they mean no
Next time you hear yourself say you want more integrity and more authenticity you might want to think about what you really mean. I'd suggest when we talk about values we really mean ethical values. Ethical values that ensure we do the right not wrong thing - and that's a whole other blog about our ability, or otherwise, to impose conscious logical values to a process that is unconscious.
Blogs I've written in the past to help explore values include:
- Values - what motivates our actions
- Ethical behaviour
- How our values get in the way - using honesty as an example
- Business values - and why I don't think they exist
- Business values and payment of the living wage
Inspiring change inside and out
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