Thursday, May 5, 2011

It All Starts with Integrity, or, Happy Birthday Hospitality Re-Defined !!

Hospitality Re-Defined is celebrating its 1st birthday and in light of that, I have been doing a lot of thinking about how to best mark this milestone.

In the process, I have been reviewing some of the blog posts that I have published over the last year, and I found myself all the way back to post #1, which was simply entitled; Integrity - The Foundation of Strong Leaders.

It occurred to me as I was reviewing that first-ever post of mine that unless you had, for some inexplicable reason, reviewed every post that I have ever written, it was doubtful that you had ever read this post, as I had virtually no subscribers when I first wrote this post.  And although I have written a lot on the subject of "Integrity" over the last year, it all started with this post, so in the spirit of celebrating the 1st birthday of Hospitality Re-Defined, and, recognizing that much like this blog did, everything starts with Integrity, I present you with the re-print of post #1, unedited, as it originally appeared.

I hope you enjoy it. . . .

Integrity - The Foundation of Strong Leaders (May 2010)

When I sat down and thought about what I wanted my first blog entry to be about, I didn’t have to think long, in fact, it became obvious to me at the same time as I decided that I would create and write a blog. A blog about what I am truly passionate about, the Hospitality Industry.

And while there are many, many things that I could have written about, I wanted to lead off with a simple entry about integrity. I wanted to write about integrity because at the heart of my beliefs, as it relates to the components that contribute to a successful business, I have always held the belief that your business must be built on a sound foundation, and what better word to describe the strength and importance of a sound foundation, than integrity.

In preparing for this entry, I looked up the word integrity in the dictionary, and I found a couple of interesting entries:

1) the quality or state of being of sound moral principle; uprightness, honesty, and sincerity, and,

2) The definition of integrity according to Webster's Dictionary is, "a rigid adherence to a code of behaviour."

There are though many ways to look at a persons’ integrity. A person with integrity possesses many qualities. Three of these qualities are honesty, the ability to follow a moral code, and loyalty to yourself and your beliefs.

Integrity shows up in many places and has many faces. The faces of truth, moral code, and loyalty are all parts of integrity and show up everyday in many ways. To have a true sense of integrity one must posses all three. You have to be honest to yourself and to others, follow your personal beliefs and stick to what you think is right, and you have to be loyal to yourself. Integrity is to be truly honest, and fair, and to uphold the beliefs important to you.

I recently came upon a definition, through my participation in a life changing course, that I have adopted as my personal definition of integrity, the statements that define my integrity, and they are:

- Being true to your ideals and standards.
- Keeping your promises.
- Being your word.
- Being true to yourself. (Shakespeare said it best when he said; “to thine own self be true”).

Now ask yourself, do you live by these standards? Do those around you? And especially, do those around you that you would define as “leaders” within your organization live by these standards? Are they truly leading by example?

I hope so, because a true leader of people recognizes that he is defined by his or her actions, not by words and that the example that he sets needs to consistently be of the highest standard if he is to be worthy of being called a leader.

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