Integrity Matters
March 16, 2005

Integration, productivity are related

Question: (E-174)

Dear Jim:

You recently were on a television show talking about integration and productivity. How do those topics relate to integrity?


By respecting differences, capitalizing on similarities and leveraging combined talents and energies, a more powerful and globally engaged American society can emerge. The United States is moving from a melting pot to a mosaic.

This new American mosaic incorporates and engages all its unique partners. They are not reluctant participants in the national effort, resisting acculturation, but are strong, proud and increasingly successful contributors.

Integration, nurtured by integrity-centered leadership, presents fresh and constructive ways to embrace differences and leverage them productively. The various stakeholders in the 21st-century American mosaic, while proudly retaining distinctions between and among their various partners, create an even more powerful and effective presence in the global community.

Integration focuses on ways to legitimately communicate, relate, motivate and utilize everyone with whom we associate. Integrity is critical to integration because it takes seriously the proper treatment of everyone. Integration is more than mere political correctness in terms of language, race, gender, culture, physical traits or political views. It encourages productivity and profitability through listening, respect, communication and collaboration.

Integrity is the keystone of leadership, holding the enterprise together at its most critical junction, where ideas, products, services and people meet the customer. Similarly, by sustaining operational trust, integrity enables an organization to achieve its mission. It is the strength, unity, clarity and purpose that uphold and sustain all of the activities of the enterprise. Integrity recognizes risks and assumes responsibility. Whether in a small organization, a gigantic corporation, a nonprofit institution or a nation-state, everyone needs to be engaged: to think and plan, to lift and carry, to measure and monitor. Wise leaders and prudent participants demand that all organizations reach across various divisions, exuding integrity and leveraging talent.

Integration for productivity is about integrity because it takes seriously the changing landscape of our world. Now more than ever, it's incumbent upon each person to:

  • Understand all people and their circumstances.
  • Appreciate the importance of including all constituents in building stronger and more effective teams and partnerships.
  • Accommodate and leverage complementary talents, without regard to differences - obvious or subtle.

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