Barry Schwartz

When we lose confidence that people have the will to do the right thing, and we turn to incentives, we find that we get what we pay for. […] There is really no substitute for the integrity that inspires people to do good work because they want to do good work. And the more we rely on incentives as substitutes for integrity, the more we … [ Read more ]

Jerome Kohlberg, Jr.

All around us there is a breakdown of values […] It is not just the […] overpowering greed that pervades our business life. It is the fact that we are not willing to sacrifice for the ethics and values we profess. For an ethic is not an ethic, and a value not a value without some sacrifice to it. Something given up, something not taken, … [ Read more ]

Warren Bennis

For executive leaders, character is framed by drive, competence, and integrity. Most senior executives have the drive and competence necessary to lead. But too often organizations elevate people who lack the moral compass. I call them “destructive achievers.” They are seldom evil people, but by using resources for no higher purpose than achievement of their own goals, they often diminish the enterprise. Such leaders seldom … [ Read more ]

A.G. Lafley and Roger Martin

In our view, leaders would do well to take a more systematic approach to developing their decision-making capabilities. The place to start is… with intellectual integrity. In common usage, the word integrity means honorable or virtuous behavior. For our purposes, though, we draw a distinction between exhibiting honorable behavior (moral integrity) and exhibiting discipline, clarity, and consistency so that all of one’s decisions fit together … [ Read more ]

Stephen Covey

I believe that a life of integrity is the most fundamental source of personal worth. I do not agree with the popular success literature that says that self-esteem is primarily a matter of mind set, of attitude—that you can psych yourself into peace of mind. Peace of mind comes when your life is in harmony with true principles and values and in no other way. … [ Read more ]

Michael Beer

Business schools are teaching ethics and corporate social responsibility, but they do not teach these subjects in the context of building a higher-ambition or a high commitment, high performance firm. Students learn about finance and organizational behavior, for example, without ever learning how to integrate these and many other disciplines (marketing, operations, etc.) into a coherent, internally consistent set of practices that collectively reinforce a … [ Read more ]

Dan Ariely

We’re incredibly good at telling ourselves stories, and these help us feel as if we are honest even when we act dishonestly.

Brian Tracy

The glue that holds all relationships together — including the relationship between the leader and the led is trust, and trust is based on integrity.

Stephen Covey

Integrity is the measure of the degree to which we have developed our independent will in our daily lives-how well we have implemented the goals chosen through personal leadership. Integrity is our ability to make and keep commitments to ourselves.

Bowen H. “Buzz” McCoy

In globalization we can come closer together, but we still don’t know one another. We can start up a new business fast, but growing wise in the way of life takes a long time. It’s never complete, never right, and never perfect. An ethic is deeper than morality or custom. It comes out of our deepest desire to make meaning out of our lives and … [ Read more ]

Rakesh Khurana

Many Indians growing up in the United States detect an inconsistency or incoherence about modern life…Somehow you are supposed to be moral and generous in your private life, but that doesn’t apply when you go to work — you don’t have to be the same person. That kind of role fragmentation or inconsistency was really seen as profane. One must find a way that synthesizes … [ Read more ]

Barry Minkow

we used to endorse character and integrity, but today the business ethic that reigns is achievement. And whenever you establish the worth of someone based on what they can do and not on who they are, you have created the environment for fraud.

William Shakespeare

This above all: to thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, throu canst not then be false to any man.

Alfred Adler

It is easier to fight for one’s principles than to live up to them.

Jimmy Carter

We must adjust to changing times and still hold to unchanging principles.

Eudora Welty

Integrity can be neither lost nor concealed nor faked nor quenched nor artificially come by nor outlived, nor, I believe, in the long run denied.