Integrity, like honesty, is made up in a chain of linked behaviors. If you tell the truth sometimes, but not at other times, then it’s hard to claim you’re an honest person. There can’t be a jury that decides to like some parts of your testimony, but not others – the entirety of your testimony is either all reliable, or none of it is.
The same is true about the larger concept of integrity, which is an adherence to principled quality, unity, soundness, and wholeness. You either exhibit it consistently and reliably, or you don’t.
And it’s been my experience that the people I find most consistent in their principled quality are those that have a process for making it happen. The people I admire the most for their commitment to the mastery of their craft are not accidentally good. They are purposefully good, and they design repeatable patterns and standards of behavior that result in strong moral character and high performance.
I believe that the people you choose to listen to for advice should have a definable and demonstrated process for netting the high performance you obviously expect. And the process I’m talking about isn’t one of how work is moved from “prospect-to-client”, or anything sales-y or administrative. Instead, it’s an accounting for how the right needs are going to be identified, the right answers determined, and then the right burdens lifted. And this demonstrated process is critical because the chance of you getting what’s right for you starts with a track record of how your advisor consistently gets it right for everyone else.
Photo: Vik, Iceland