Who needs to focus on character and integrity, who personifies it, and how you can improve it?

A consulting colleague of mine, Rear Admiral Winston Copeland (United States Navy, retired) with Top Gun Consulting, created a program about character and integrity.

His vision was that this program could be used anywhere but particularly in government. We have spoken about breakdowns in the military, the U.S. Secret Service, and other governmental agencies where his program would be invaluable.

While it is easy to see stories in the news every day where such a program might be desperately needed, I witnessed 3 U.S. State Department employees this week who don’t need it:

  • Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch
  • Ambassador William Taylor
  • Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs George Kent

These professionals personify character and integrity. They are exemplars. A north star guides their thoughts, words, and deeds and doesn’t allow for deviations. They assiduously avoid allowing politics to cloud their judgment or interactions with others in their command or those they interact with. It has been an honor to see them testify before Congress and our nation.

Where are their lapses in character and integrity in your organization? What are you doing to expunge these lapses? What priority or urgency is this for you?

Photo Credit: Flickr, Airwolfhound

Thought for the week:

“In looking for people to hire, look for 3 things: integrity, intelligence and energy. And, if they don’t have the first, the other two will kill you.” – Warren Buffett

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Dave Gardner

Dave Gardner is a management consultant, speaker, author, and blogger based in Silicon Valley. He's been in the front row for the birth and evolution of Silicon Valley, the innovation capital of the world. Since 1992, Dave Gardner focuses on making the complex simple around people, process and technology. Dave is the author of Mass Customization: An Enterprise-Wide Business Strategy - How Build to Order, Assemble to Order, Configure to Order, Make to Order, and Engineer to Order Manufacturers Increase Profits and Better Satisfy Customers.

1 Comment

Tamara Taylor · January 12, 2020 at 11:41 am

In the game of success, character and integrity can be brutally challenged. When we see an opportunity to advance our business or career, take the lead in our industry, but we’d have to step out of character and integrity to do so, there is a choice to make. For some, this is a no brainer, they stick with what is right and just. For others, they have to question if the gamble is worth losing something valuable, forever. Unfortunately, there are some who’s character is to have no integrity. 

Those who fully embody character and integrity never have to worry about their decisions destroying their business, government, or lives.

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