Sometimes Integrity Hurts

The title alone is sure to raise a few eyebrows. Am I suggesting that we as individuals or organizations should lower our levels of integrity? Change our values to maintain a client, an employee or a job? Change to avoid scrutiny, criticism or termination?

Of course I’m not. Without integrity the other things simply don’t matter. Integrity keeps you moving in a positive path, towards your goal or mission. It is the compass that not only provides direction, but purpose.

But sometimes there are backlashes frommaintaining your integrity. Refusing to lie to a customer, standing up for the rights of others who are being harassed, or not pandering to your boss can all have consequences. It can mean people don’t like the answer, people don’t believe the answer, or simply don’t wish to accept the answer.

That’s when integrity can hurt. It is the pain in the gut feeling you get, not from buckling under, but from standing up.

Yet I can’t think of a single leader who hasn’t at some point been hauled on the carpet, hung out to dry, persecuted or fired. Or even worse.

Not George Washington. Not Martin Luther King. Not Mahatma Ghandi. Not Christ Jesus.

Every day we make choices. Every day we face decisions that can have negative consequences. But as leaders we still make them.  We look at the facts, we             examine our options, we filter them through our values. Sometimes the necessary choices are easy. Sometimes they are not.

What is your choice today?


By: Ed Wildeman


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