In her Forbes article about integrity in the workplace, Ms Anderson says integrity also is
“having the courage to do the right thing, no matter what the consequences will be", and never allowing yourself to do anything that would damage your reputation of being a person of integrity.
I think, integrity has many faces of self-righteousness. I also question why a person should be subjected to the righteousness of another if it is contrary to the integrity of the subjected: But, I do think, Ms. Anderson is right in saying that people do live where integrity isn't talked about enough.
Employment can be one of those worlds where, in her words, “the end justifies the means” and I have worked for powerful people who have actually directed me with 'only outcomes matter no matter how they are achieved' and I cannot say that I have not complied.
A long time ago, I attended an interview for a role that required noting down the service information of everyone who walked in through the community service door. The interviewing panel was made up of church and government funding body representatives and just before I went into the interview room, I met a colleague who was still employed in the role I was about to be interviewed for. I didn't know her board of management had advertised her position as part of her review process and when I discovered this reality, I felt the conflict and desire to walk away. Yet, I obliged by following the smiling face when it called for me to go into the interview room. I went into that cramped room with my colleagues story fresh in mind. Her committee had accused her of noting information about servicing clients who didn't exist and they had followed up their accusation with a role review that consisted of her applying for her job again in competition with others from her field of expertise. I could see in her eyes she was afraid of losing her job (she was a single mum) and I defended her need to remain employed with a silent questioning about the integrity of her employers. I had never 'fiddled' numbers in my life, but knew of plenty of managers who believed in it in order to keep government funding. In my view, accuracy was better marketing practice, and if there was no need for the service, then my job was done. My colleague was vindicated when the panel gave the question about data accuracy and despite agreeing with them that service information numbers should never be misleading, I froze into silence in that extremely hot and claustrophobic interview room. A number of different inquiries were filtering through my head. Did I want to work for employers who didn't know how to resolve conflicts with their staff, under mined staff training and staff support needs, practiced un-compassionate behaviour despite representing a religious order, and did I want want to undermine my colleague who, in all likelihood, could be falsely accused for a mistake that could have easily been corrected through an open resolution process. I remember questioning how I felt about my own integrity. If I admitted to agreeing with them that service information should never be misleading, would I become the person tugging the hanging rope around my colleague's neck. I felt the missing facts, I felt a lack of clarity and my inner judge whispered how unimpressed it was with the way management was handling something that I felt should have been resolved by working with their employee, as opposed to against her. The word 'should' was how my integrity was shaping up in that room, given that I had unconsciously chosen her position statement, and I felt their expectant faces bare down on me. I decided an honest reply would have been offensive to the integrity of the people in the room, who, in response to my freeze, were heatedly pressing, the need for me to answer the question, most firmly. When I failed to give them my thoughts, the interview ended abruptly and I left that room feeling relieved yet dis-empowered, conflicted and annoyed at myself for wasting time thinking about something I disagreed with, unethical conduct. In my view, my colleague's board of management was determined to get rid of her in the only way they knew how, through deceitful means, despite their strong links to religious kindness. My colleague's desperate need to keep her job saw her go through this unconscionable process, not once but twice because no 'suitable candidate' was found in the first round of interviews. So with this story in mind, did their desire to assert their self-righteousness about number crunching, warrant such a process? I think Ms Anderson would say no it does not, even though she considers that people can gain power quickly and easily if they are willing to cut corners and act without the constraints of morality.
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