Applying Integrity: The Issue

In Smotherman’s comments, he describes 10 levels of integrity:

1. Empowerment
2. Abundance
3. Normal
4. Emergency
5. Danger
6. Non-Existence
7. Injury
8. Uncertainty
9. Opposition
10. Disloyalty

Smotherman’s observations are that we are born into #3 Normal. His viewpoint suggests that you have no experience or understanding of abundance or empowerment. As life unfolds, you begin the descent down, eventually ending up in what we refer to as the dead zone / red zone: #8 uncertainty, #9 opposition or #10 disloyalty. Smotherman states that approximately 75% of the population resides in the dead zone of #8, #9, or #10…and that is where they will stay over the course of their lives.

But whenever we have the opportunity to share this entire model with a team, we are always told that the figure of 75% is wrong. We are told that a more accurate percentage would be closer to 90%.

Why is integrity such an issue?

In the US. from the moment you are born, you are told to tell the truth. But it didn’t take very long for you to realize that that approach didn’t work out too well. You learned that telling the truth equates with being punished. So, why should you tell the truth?

There’s no greater example to understand this phenomenon that watching the character, Butters, in the comedy series, South Park. Poor little Butters is punished by his father for everything even though Butters tried to tell the truth each time. Sooner or later, Butters will start lying.

In leadership the issue of integrity revolves around this same dilemma. To build integrity and honesty in business practices, you have to reconsider your reactions and habitual responses to dealing with employee screw-ups. The issue is how do I use those negative situations as a positive means to instill loyalty, trust, and integrity in daily work relationships, communication and accountability? How do I use an employee’s mistake to develop the employee?

I am convinced that the eradication of disloyalty and opposition from daily practices will not only significantly increase peak performance but gross revenues. If all you do is eradicate disloyalty and opposition from daily practices, you’ve done great! And if you can figure out how to get a business or a group of people to simply get back up to injury, you’ll make history.

I’ll explain how that works in another blog.