Billionaire Warren Buffett, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, still captures the world's attention with his wisdom, even at the youthful age of 88.
Buffett's commonsense wisdom stretches far beyond wealth and investment to decisions that could make or break your very livelihood, or the livelihood of your organization.
Like, for example, a company's hiring decisions. In respect to this topic, the mega-mogul said:
We look for three things when we hire people. We look for intelligence, we look for initiative or energy, and we look for integrity. And if they don't have the latter, the first two will kill you, because if you're going to get someone without integrity, you want them lazy and dumb.
So, who wants to hire a dumb and lazy person, raise your hand? Integrity is a personal value that should be explored in-depth but is often overlooked in interviews, which can be costly later, especially in the upper levels of a company's hierarchy.
Why integrity is so crucial for success.
When we arrive at the difficult crossroads of life, even the smallest action can ruin your reputation and trigger an avalanche of unfortunate incidents that may be out of your control.
That's when integrity shows its best side. As the famous saying goes, we act with integrity by always doing the right thing, even when no one is looking, and especially when the choice isn't easy.
I'll close with seven reasons why you should consider making your most important decisions at work with integrity, and, more important, why you should always bank on hiring people with integrity to take your company to the next level.
1. You don't question yourself; other people don't question you.
Life is simplified and more peaceful when you do the right thing and speak in honesty and truth. And when you back up your words with actions that are consistent, and your actions are open for everyone to see, people don't question whether you're hiding anything.
2. You gain trust.
Integrity leads to trust. People working closest to you experience you as dependable and accountable for your actions. Trust develops, people feel safe in your presence, and you gain influence.
3. You command respect.
Integrity is a hallmark of ethical leadership. And when you demonstrate integrity, others will naturally respond to your ethical leadership with great respect.
4. You give and keep promises.
People with integrity give promises, even reluctantly. But once they do, they always follow through on that promise without fail.
5. You don't cheat.
Remember Enron? That company was once called one of the most innovative in the country. But their CEO and top management team decided to build their success on a foundation of lies and deception. You know how that story ended.
6. You don't betray others.
People who act in integrity don't betray themselves or others by using words or making decisions not aligned with who they truly are. It's highly unlikely that you will hear such a person being talked about for "throwing someone under the bus."
7. You're given more responsibilities.
Because a person of integrity is responsible (and does the right thing), managers will give them higher levels of responsibilities, which can increase skills and advance careers.