Trust, respect, and dignity, three qualities that can be summed up using the word integrity. Nothing in business is more important than integrity. Keep your word, be fair and respectful, and always try to maintain dignity in your actions and interactions. To illustrate the power of Integrity, let me share a pair of stories from Michael G Rogers. The first story, oddly enough, is about a famous mobster’s lawyer.
Al Capone’s lawyer, nicknamed “Easy Eddie”, had skills that kept Capone out of prison for a long time. Eddie, his wealth earned from the proceeds of crime, one day came to the realization that he could not pass to his son an example of leadership and integrity, He decided to try to right all his wrongs and went to law enforcement and told the truth about Al Capone in hopes that it would clean up his tarnished name and offer some semblance of integrity to his son. Within a year Easy Eddie’s life ended in an enormous blaze of gunfire on a lonely Chicago street.
The second story is about Lieutenant Butch O’Hare, a fighter pilot in World War II. One day his squadron was sent on a mission. During the mission, O’Hare realized that someone had forgotten to top off his fuel tank so he was told by his commander to return to the ship. As he was returning, he saw a Japanese squadron speeding towards the unprotected American fleet. He had no time to warn the fleet of approaching danger.
He dove into the formation of Japanese planes with his guns blazing, and when his ammunition ran out he dove at their planes with the hope of clipping a wing and sending them in a downward spiral. The surprised and frustrated Japanese squadron decided to take off in another direction.
Because of O’Hare’s actions, he became the Navy’s first Ace of World War II and the first Naval Aviator to win the Congressional Medal of Honor. Today the O’Hare Airport in Chicago is named after his bravery.
So what do these two stories have in common? Butch O’Hare was “Easy Eddie’s” son.
As the stories show, acting with integrity, having respect for and treating your fellow humans with dignity, will reap positive rewards in both the near and long-term.