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Well-written, and completely applicable to current events...,
This review is from: The Integrity Dividend: Leading by the Power of Your Word (Hardcover)
Quite often I'll read a book that I think is very well done, with truths that resonate with me. But less often do I find that book at a time when it fits so well with current events. One such book is The Integrity Dividend: Leading by the Power of Your Word by Tony Simons. As we watch corporations and financial systems crumble under the weight of unethical and dishonest actions, Simons presents a truth that is too often neglected in the workplace. But even more, everything that you read here also applies to your personal life. I know I find myself falling woefully short in this area, and am convicted to change.
Part 1 - What Is The Integrity Dividend?: The Dollar Value of Your Impeccable Word; Executive Sightings of the Integrity Dividend; Behavioral Integrity Drivers and Payoffs - Why Small Mistakes Can Have Big Costs
Part 2 - Managing Your Own Behavioral Integrity - Building Trust and Credibility: Promise Less, But Do It More Often; The Language of Living by Your Word - Confronting and Committing; Behavioral Integrity as a Personal Discipline
Part 3 - Behavioral Integrity and the Ripple Effect - Building and Sustaining a Leadership Culture of Integrity: Easing the Middle Manager's Dilemma; Creating a Culture of Accountability; Management Fashions and the Flavor-of-the-Month Club
Part 4 - Broader Applications and Summary: The Integrity Dividend and Outside Stakeholders; Capturing the Integrity Dividend
Notes; Acknowledgments and Dedication; About the Author; Index
In order to lead effectively, you have to have credibility. And in order to have credibility, you have to deliver on what you promise or say you will do, as well as behaving consistently with those words and promises. It's this premise on which The Integrity Dividend is based. Leaders in business (and really in all types of organizations) can only be effective if the people following them know that there is no gap between what you say and what you do. This type of leadership has many benefits, not the least of which is financial. Staff who know they can rely on their leadership to do as they say will be more loyal and effective in what they do. This translates to higher performance within the business, as well as more satisfied customers. The "corporation" also must have integrity, such as following through on promises they make to the public (like no-questions-asked guarantees). If the public finds that your actions are not consistent with the promises or image, then they will quickly find another company that is. Likewise, if you and the company are seen to have complete behavioral integrity between what you do and say, their loyalty will know few bounds.
Rather than keep everything on what could be a purely academic or theoretical level, Simons relates all his work back to actual real-life situations. This makes it very easy to follow his train of thought, and adds a level of credibility to his ideas. He's also not afraid to say that some areas have no good answers. For instance, a middle manager can often be stuck between a decision from on high that violates his personal views and positions. But ultimately, the choice quite often comes down to follow the decision because everyone needs to be on the same page, or leave your position because you're crossing a line that you will not violate. Unfortunately, there aren't always easy answers to problems, and Simons acknowledges that.
For me personally, I have been struggling with the "sure, I can do that" promise. Instead of saying no or setting realistic expectations, I say that I intend to do "x" in the near future. Then when I can't deliver because of over-commitment, I feel bad and the customer suffers. I have a lot of work to do on improving my behavioral integrity, and I appreciate the work that Tony Simons has done in The Integrity Dividend to help me in that area.