“How important trait is ‘professional integrity’ with respect to current turbulent times?” – Someone asked me recently in a conversation. “Extremely important, not just in turbulent times but at any given time”, I replied. Integrity and ethical work practices should be at the fulcrum of one’s professional career and growth. No two ways about it.
Paradoxically, it seems to me that professional integrity and commitment levels are at an all time low – the reason why I think so are many.
- In India (as also elsewhere), thousands of people are fired every year for professional misconducts ranging from fudging resumes to putting up inflated expense statements!
- Small and big corporate frauds are dominating newspaper headlines eroding investor’s wealth and trust. Most prominent recent example is that of Satyam – India’s fourth largest software services provider. Ramalinga Raju – the founder admitted that his company was falsifying accounts for years and inflating profits by $1 Billion!
This list can go on. Core of all this is lack of personal and professional integrity which not only harms one’s personal brand but also a professional standing. In a bad market when layoffs keep happening, integrity and honesty assume even more importance in building one’s personal brand.
Integrity comes from one’s upbringing, values and overall educational eco-system in which one grows. While it may be difficult to teach someone how to be integral, educational institutions can certainly monitor it. May be, something like “Integrity Index” which assumes as much importance as one’s CGPA?
In this regards, I am reminded of Sadhana Center of Management and Leadership Development. Founded and run by Prof. M. S. Pillai (who taught us some very important lessons on life at the Management Development Program), SCMLD is an exceptional institution that measures Integrity/Authenticity, Commitment and Deadline Index (ICDI) for each student. These metrics are included in a student’s professional bio-data that is prepared by the institution and given to corporates. Organizations hiring people from this educational institute can assess someone’s integrity index along with other such metrics before the offer. This means, students with high CGPA but a low ICDI may not be considered for the employment by the hiring organization. Amazing – that’s what is needed!
Management and leadership is all about having values and living by them – Isn’t it? Any educational institute that imbibes values in management education is going to make a big difference to the society.
This seems like a good time to resurrect faith (in ourselves and in corporate) by being integral and being honest in our pursuits. What say?
Also read related posts that refer Management Development Program: