By Marj Mulholland

INTEGRITY: What is it?

It’s a much-bandied around word, used in most Mission
statements. If I asked a roomful of people, “What is integrity?”
most people would reply “honesty”. But integrity is much more than
that. Integrity is excellence in everything we do and think.

Imagine if our workplace had absolute integrity…excellence in
everything! Imagine:

  • the photocopier always full of paper
  • refilled toilet rolls
  • kitchen always spotless
  • kindness and caring attitudes to all colleagues.

We shake our heads – when would this ever happen?

A society without integrity is a society
where people are sad, wounded, walked over and depressed. To walk
in integrity, we must make a solid decision to do that. We need to
be a society where we say we will do it, and we do.

Not pleasing yourself

integrity compassWalking in integrity is doing a lot of things we
often don’t feel like doing. Integrity is not pleasing yourself.
Integrity in Greek means “showing forth the excellence of God”.

The King is called “Your Excellency” because he acts with

Do we?


Integrity in the marketplace

There is a generation growing up in our country that sometimes
seems not to know the word. They have no heroes, no examples of
integrity, no examples of honesty.  They feel it is their
right to fill their briefcases with pens, paper, envelopes to take
home from work.  Integrity or stealing?

Life is a duplication – unless those around these young people
are exhibiting integrity, they will duplicate what they see.

Dump or return?

It’s not only at work we need to show integrity.

How often at the supermarket, do we see trundlers just dumped?
It could be pouring with rain and the easy option is to leave it
against a post – is that integrity?  Running to return that
trundler to the collection point is a massive sign of integrity to
everyone watching (and they are!)

When we know we should, but don’t, in any situation…it is so
easy for the voice in our head to suddenly remind us of the time
that “he or she didn’t do it either, so not to worry”. When we
appear to always be the one who tidies up, picks up after others,
corrects a wrong, it is so easy to think “I am such a martyr, I am
such a great person” instead of being on integrity
.   You are not responsible for the other
people you work with and meet each day, but you are responsible for
what you do and say.

Professional appearance

How do we dress?  Are we casual just because it’s
Friday?  Who came up with that dumb idea?  I have seen so
many companies who know that their workforce makes very little
effort in business on a Friday; casual dress, casual habits and
very little client contact or work done.

No matter the company you work for, dress for
success.   Buy wisely; buy clothes that mix and match,
that suit your body shape, are smart and business like.

Years ago, a company in Wellington wanted to promote one of
their Managers to the Board, but could not do it, because of her
greasy hair, casual clothes and sloppy style.  I was hired to
work with her, but sadly she was my only failure.  Her comment
to me was, “I have the qualifications, and I dress like this,
because every night I have a round of golf on the way
home”.    She never reached the potential she could
have, and became a very bitter and sad woman.  She dressed for
golf, not her professional office on the 18th floor!
Sadly, her attitude was very self-centred and she became an outcast
in the office, not even permitted to work with clients.

So where do we start?

The Five C’s

  • COMPETENCE – this is the range of activities that define
  • CREDIBILITY – Set your own standard of values and refuse to
    move below that benchmark. You need to stand tall. Effort is never
  • CONTROL – Self-control is a mark of maturity. Good manners
    indicate self-control. So, too, does being organised, punctual,
    tidy and having a system.
  • CONFIDENCE – this comes from your inner self and is instantly
    obvious on the outside. Stay confident. Small criticisms should be
    flicked off your shoulder like a snowball – don’t accept them or
    internalise them into a subconscious “failure file”.
    Cancel that file, it should not exist for a confident person moving
    in integrity.
  • CONSISTENCY – Your standard of consistency and excellence
    should rise the more flack you get. The comments made at you should
    always brush off you. Being called a “goody two shoes” or “crawler
    to the boss” shows that the person commenting has a standard so
    much lower than yours. They are feeling horribly guilty and

Be an Example

Do not align yourself with the status quo because that means, “I
am satisfied being in this mess.”

You could be surrounded by mediocrity, by people who drift in
and out of jobs, people who move in and out of relationships. What
commitment do they have to themselves, their family or their

Be an example.

Walk in integrity and do everything with excellence.

You are a Professionelle woman – we are proud of you.


Marj Mulholland NZSES. AAPNZ. ANZIM.  Maintaining
professionalism and excellence is the core business of IMARJ
Corporate Excellence; reaching this level in companies is her
mission.   Marj also has an International anti-aging
business with Nu
. Their ageLOC technology goes to the source of aging and
switches back on youth.  Once these products are experienced,
people tell people, and the network can spread into 53
countries.Contact Marj at or +64 21 527167 or join
Marj on Linked In.

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