Peak Performance Resources for Leaders by Leaders

Category: Ethics & Integrity

On Integrity

By Buckminster Fuller

I want you to think about this as individuals.  An individual will say to me, “What can I do?  What can I do?  I’m just a little tiny guy.”

And, I say, what you can do – I’m repeating something I said to you earlier – that we are really in the final examination – I did get, last night, to you that we are a function in the universe.  We’re here for local universe information gathering and local problem-solving in support of the integrity of an eternally regenerative universe.

But integrity is the essence.  In an invisible world, there are no visible aesthetics.  In an invisible world, the only aesthetic is integrity.  It’s our great computer world we’re going into.


There is a graduated scale from ultimate truth to ultimate untruth. Most people think that a little untruth is OK and tell little lies to others and to themselves. The worst lies are the ones we tell to ourselves – and believe. Why? Because if you believe your own lies – then your perception becomes inaccurate to the same degree.  This is often why many people struggle and work hard only to find that success eludes them…

Think of ultimate truth as being the ultimate accuracy, and the ultimate untruth being the ultimate inaccuracy. The more accuracy – the more flow; so if you want more flow in your life, career or business… go for more truth.

Why People Lie

People lie for a variety of reasons. According to a study conducted by Dr. Bella DePaulo, the average person lies once or twice a day and over the course of a week, deceives about 30 of the people they interact with. This does not include the lies we tell ourselves. Some of the reasons people lie are to:

  • gain power
  • gain status or improve one’s position (impress others)
  • avoid conflict
  • avoid an unpleasant truth about themselves
  • avoid admitting mistakes
  • diminish or suppress someone else
  • avoid hurting someone’s feelings
  • avoid anger
  • avoid responsibility
  • gain respect or admiration
  • gain self-worth
  • be liked
  • maintain the status-quo, hoping everything will pass unnoticed
  • gain something of value

Movie: Shattered Glass

This 2003 movie will leave you stunned by the number of lies and cover-ups that Stephen Glass engaged in during his career as a reporter. The film is based on real events and also captures the high-pressure world of national political journalism.

Stephen is likable, friendly and very polite. The ultimate co-worker who remembers everyone’s birthday knows how everyone takes their coffee and is so self-deprecatingly sweet that when things start unraveling you feel sorry for him. Despite his audacious lies and deceits, you like him and wonder why everyone is being so mean. Stephen walks the fine line between good and evil so well, you watch in amazement. You feel sorry for him, you’re repulsed by him, you’re embarrassed for him…

Eroding High Standards

Boom. Crash. Catastrophic failure and collapse.

History is littered with corporate failures that involve massive loss of jobs, investor, supplier, and client financial losses. Empires flourish for a while, then go into decline. Some last longer than others.

The larger the failure, the more complex and difficult it can be to trace back to the singular cause. Complexity can cover up the real issues. However, a thorough investigation by people who know what to look for can often reveal lapses in standards, honesty, and ethics long before the terminal collapse.

These lapses often (but not always) begin at the top – with the leadership, and then filter down throughout the organization.

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