What It Means to Act with Integrity
To act with integrity has been the most challenging aspect in business and social environment. In most cases, companies have been ignorant of the major role that integrity plays in enhancing performance and achievement of organizational goals. Therefore, it is important to research what it really means to act with integrity and how different aspects of integrity impact on the overall business environment.
The term integrity has various meanings in different contexts, but in general aspect it means to possess the quality of being honest and having strong moral uprightness and principles (Koehn, 2005). The practice of integrity cuts across all disciplines such as education, business, and science among others. Each area has its set code of ethics that governs behavior of the involved parties and the integrity requirement to each person working within the given environment (Svensson & Wood, 2008). The aspect of integrity is one of the currently sought qualities in the contemporary business world today. Business scholars describe it as the doing what is right even when no one else is around (Pearson, 1995). Every business that plans to succeed needs to have a good idea of what it wants to achieve, acquire good leadership to oversee its accomplishments and demonstrate the integrity to ensure that the idea is achieved by the means within the business code of ethics (Koehn, 2005). The paper will therefore look into the various aspects of integrity and their importance in ensuring that the employers, employees and all the stakeholders of a business company works towards a common objective.
In most cases, acting with integrity means to act with honor, truthfulness, honesty and trust in any given workplace. The people who act with integrity tend to attract others to them since they are dependable and trustworthy (Koehn, 2005). They are extremely principled, and people can be sure they will behave in a good manner even under limited or no supervision.
Acting with Integrity for Sales Representatives
The position of a sales representative is a very sensitive area since it has a direct link to the customers and company operations. Therefore, all sales representatives are required to hold high standards of ethical behavior. When they do not demonstrate any integrity, a company is likely to be affected in a negative way. For example, if most customers tend to avoid purchasing the firm’s products from its sales representatives that is likely to result in a decline in profit. The incidence of unrest within the workplace may, at the same time, increase the risk of low performance. As the sales representative, one needs to demonstrate the following aspect of integrity to strengthen his/her current and future role in a business environment.
Respect to Working Hours
Every company’s code of ethics stipulates the hours each employee should be working for a day or a week (Petrick & Quinn, 2000). For the sales representative, maintaining and respecting the time table does not only imply getting paid for work done but it also impacts on the firm’s performance since more sales will be made during the number of hours covered.
The aspect of sales requires everyday interaction and dealing with customers from different ethical and cultural background. The sales representative communicating with such a variety of clients should, therefore, be transparent in his/her dealings and ensure he/she does not engage into any activities that impact negatively on the company.
Avoiding Unethical Decisions
The company may at times put a lot of pressure on its sales representatives to carry out certain ethical decisions to make more sales. Therefore, all such employees should observe the firm’s code of ethics and stay away from making any decision that is against the business values. To make sales representatives avoid unethical practices such as giving or receiving bribes, kickbacks, illegal political contributions and other unethical business deals from or to any organization or person, the act of integrity should be place above any monetary security (Pearson, 1995).
Avoid Conflict of Interest
Sales involve a lot of decision making, and sales representatives should walk away from any situation that prevents them from making an honest decision, especially, if the situation has a direct conflict of his/her interests and objectives.
In the general aspect, business leaders, employees, and the employers tend to benefit a lot from integrity in the workplace since it shapes their moral character, judgments, leadership values and honesty. The people in a workplace who demonstrate this feature not only understand the difference between what is right and wrong but tend to apply it in all their daily practices. Integrity is, therefore, fundamental in a business environment where actions that are deemed trustworthy are essential in setting up a successful business relationship foundations (Petrick, 2008). The business integrity that sets up success include;
The core principle of respect is manifested in an individual within a business environment treating others the way he/she would have wanted to be treated. The practice of respecting ensures that the aspects of disturbance that may lead to business distractions are put away while in a work setting.
The practice of honesty within a business workplace is the optimal act of integrity. It ensures and encourages an open and constructive communication between employees, employers and the co-workers. On the one hand, the employers can take measurable actions to the various job aspects if the personnel are open and honest about them. On the other hand, employers tend to view employees who are open and honest about the company’s policies and organizational changes as trustworthy.
The aspect of practicing confidentiality is not only an act of integrity but also a legal necessity in business environment. The employers, employees and shareholders of any given business have the sole obligation or duty to ensure certain information regarding the company remains private. Violation or this rule often leads to penalties, fines and even a possible lawsuit that might lead to a conviction. Confidentiality instills accountability and trust among the employees and employers because it observes the privacy of others in a sincere manner.
Leading by Example
In any business environment, the leaders have to display the act of integrity by leading people by their own example. It effectively sets the appropriate behavior within a workplace and improves awareness, sensitivity and accountability that are the necessary aspects of ethical behavior.
Integrity in the Assigned Article
Involving the aspect of integrity in any business contributes more than merely making it stable and efficient. Integrity raises the standards by which all the business organizations operate. Therefore, I agree with the description of the term integrity in the assigned article that describes integrity as an act of personal consistency because integrity has often been seen as synonymous with goodness while in the actual sense even wicked people can have integrity.
Relationship between Integrity and Skill
The relationship that exists between integrity and skill can best be defined in the context of Psalm 78:72, which describes how David shepherded the people of Israel with integrity and led them with his skillful hands. One of the great leadership challenges is finding a leader who leads with great integrity. A good leader should furthermore possess the required knowledge and skills to guide and give direction in a given business environment. Therefore, the relationship that exists between integrity and skill is that they complement each other in the aspect of good leadership in any given environment, whether in the church or business environment. A person of integrity should often follow his/her words with vigorous and practical actions that are derived from the skills that he/she has acquired. Factors such as leading by example are a clear illustration of how integrity and skills relate. Furthermore, integrity provides the guiding principles of how an individual uses his/her skills in a given context or environment. People can have various skills but lack the required integrity to utilize them in a constructive way and opt for destructive actions. An example is that business leaders can have the required skills to ensure that there is a high level of company performance but without such aspects of integrity as honesty and respect they will still fail to achieve the required objectives since the employer –employee relationship that is fundamental to business success will not be achieved. Another instance is that business law firms may have the necessary skills to represent their clients in various cases, but it is the act of integrity such as dependability, honesty, and trustworthiness that often enables them to retain and attract more clients. In every case, an individual should have the integrity to initiate wise and skillful actions depending on what a given situation might demand.
Where Do my Values Come From?
Values can be described as the standards, qualities or principles that a given person or group of people holds in high regard (Olver & Mooradian, 2003). Values guide an individual in his/her life and determine the decisions that he/she makes in life. Even in business environment, values can influence the judgments that a person makes and their impacts on the clients’ support. Businesspeople should work towards supporting a client’s value instead of using his/her values to affect the client’s decisions (Olver & Mooradian, 2003).
In most cases, people do not realize that value is normally a personal quality. One can only be valued by a person and not an impersonal force. Therefore, the main question in this aspect has often been on where the value comes from. Values are derived from the life experiences such as the things learned in school, at home, at work or in any environment where an individual spends time (Olver & Mooradian, 2003). Politics, culture, and religion can, at the same time, affect one's values. Other factors of impact include parents and family members who often provide the first influence on the values of a child.
Parents and family members often provide the first impact on values of a child. Children are not born with any set of values or expectations. The values they have are acquired from the parents or other family members who raise them at the primary stage. The values are acquired not only through the teachings of the adults, but the child tends to learn by example, too, through watching or observing (Olver & Mooradian, 2003). As the child grows with time, he/she starts to comprehend and internalize the values that he/she has acquired. Therefore, families make a great contribution to what each and every person is.
Religion plays an important role in determining one's values. It influences how a person acts and how he/she interprets the fundamental basis of life based on his/her faiths and beliefs (Olver & Mooradian, 2003). Each religion such as Christianity and Islam has its set of values that is instilled in its followers, and the followers are supposed and adhere to it in every activity they undertake.
Adults and children are often susceptible to influence from their peers, but the children who are still at the development stage are often the most vulnerable group. Peers can affect the values of an individual both positively and negatively (Olver & Mooradian, 2003). Peers who practice honesty, kindness and sharing will have a positive influence on a person while those who are wicked will certainly impact negatively on one’s values.
An individual’s values are highly influenced by the aspect of education. The things people are taught in school or other educational establishments often affect the kind of person that one becomes which, in turn, influences the values of the whole society. Education does not only start from the time someone goes to schools but right from childhood when a child is taught on various values that are fundamental to determining the kind of person that he/she will become in future (Olver & Mooradian, 2003). Education also provides a great platform in which people tend to interact and learn different cultures leading to an exchange of values.
A hero can be described as someone one looks up to, or someone who is a role model for another individual. The hero tends to be someone who conducts himself or herself with high standards of integrity and is guided by personal values (Olver & Mooradian, 2003). In every aspect of life, my mother remains my hero due to the great values that she has instilled in me since childhood. The high integrity which I hold is a result of the good nurturing. The main character traits that one can admire in other people include a good sense of humor, being honest, full of respect and being caring.
Insights from the Course
The course provided various insights on how to become a good and effective manager. If a manager observes and maintains high levels of integrity such as respect, honesty, and leading by example, he/she will provide a good business environment for working hence enhancing the company’s performance. Providing a high performance is usually a manager’s responsibility. Furthermore, the issue of values provides a manager with an excellent platform of knowing the positive values that should guide one towards making an effective judgment in business environment.
Acting with integrity is, therefore, a fundamental requirement in life as it touches almost every aspect of life. Managers, employees and the entire range of business stakeholders who act with integrity are often sure of creating a suitable environment in which their objectives can be achieved. Values, in their turn, are the guiding principles that streamline each and every individual action within a given environment. Honor, truthfulness, honesty and trust are all aspects of integrity that draws employers, employees, and stakeholders closer within a workplace thus ensuring that the common objective of the business is achieved.