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Every time you lie about what you say you will do, your level of Integrity is compromised.
Your team stops trusting you, your customers think you're full of shit, and quiet quitting becomes all too real.
Today’s newsletter is all around integrity, one of those words you see on the walls of the most valuable companies in the world.
I didn’t think Integrity mattered until I realized how powerful its ability is to both create and destroy your organization.
Today, we’ll talk about
- What Integrity is IMO
- What it can look like in your company
- How integrity can destroy everything you’ve built
- How to Develop Integrity Together
What Integrity is IMO
According to Miriam Webster, Integrity is defined as the quality of being whole and undivided.
According to Ernesto, Integrity is the glue that bridges our perception and reality of the world we live in.
This force is responsible for creating trust between people, companies, ideas, etc…
To use a couple of examples:
- After John declares he will lose weight and then sheds 10 pounds over the next 3 months, John becomes someone with integrity
- When productivity enthusiasts hear the words “Second Brain” or “Getting Things Done,” they automatically know exactly what it means. These ideas have integrity for those who know about them.
- When a company like Patagonia sets a mission of building the best product, causing no unnecessary harm, using business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis there value rises because everything in their company aligns with this
Integrity is the alignment between words (theoretical) and actions (actual).
If you are still unsure of what this can look like in your company today, read on
What it can look like in your company
How might integrity look in your company today?
- Developing features by the dates they were promised to customers.
- Authentic communication between colleagues, clients, and/or investors.
- Completing tasks on the day that they were committed to being completed.
The common thread here is alignment-congruence with words and action
Higher Integrity. Higher Trust. Higher Performance. Higher Profits!
Because our minds are all over the place and our ego’s survivalist tendencies are constantly reacting to create protectionist solutions, Integrity within your company has the potential to be destroyed.
How Integrity destroys your Company
Because we are wired for survival it takes a long time to develop feelings of integrity and trust.
Warren buffet once said:
It takes 20 years to build a reputation and 5 minutes to ruin it
So why do we care as a Scaling Startup Operators?
Startup Culture has plenty of stories hyper-growth: chaotic communication, mis-steps, excitement, long hours, and lots of chaos.
When operating in chaos, organization are sometimes de-stabilized which cause breakdowns in integrity:
- Engineering team misses a deadline for a product feature
- Customers get concerned with the pace of development-causing churn
- Investors see the lack of traction and do not re-invest
- Team Members don’t complete tasks when they say they will
- The CEO shares Q1 Milestones that are not completed on time
Between our own shit and the fear created from society, death by 100 paper cuts creates an underlying feeling of distrust.
The stories we tell ourselves quickly manifest into spiraling failures.
How to Cultivate Integrity
Despite the fears of failure, there is good news to all of this.
We have a chance to create a culture of trust and integrity.
As Bezos says, every day can be just like Day 0. We can have the same level of commitment, excitement, and passion.
I’ll add that we have the opportunity to reset who we are, what we do, and how we do it.
Without reinforcement of our commitment, the potential to be derailed by chaos will always exist.
You can start with small promises: daily tasks, rituals, and habits that snowball into larger milestones, goals, and celebrations.
If you want to begin creating integrity between your actions, your company and the world you are creating, I invite you to sign up for the Vision n Vibes Workshop next Sunday.
Join us at Vision n Vibes
This Sunday, I am hosting the Vision n Vibes workshop to create the space for you to recommit to a renewed direction in 2023.
During our 3 hour workshop, we will create connections with a community of entrepreneurs, declare our vision for the year and create the execution plan to make it happen.
Through sharing the bridge between our Vision and our execution to others, we will significantly increase the commitment to ourselves and the probabilities of making it happen.
Thanks for reading, Ernesto
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