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October 20, 2008

News & Opinion: New excerpt up - from The Integrity Dividend

By: Dylan Schleicher @ 1:32 PM – Filed under: Leadership & Strategy

There's a new excerpt up on our Excerpts blog. It's taken from Chapter 1 of The Integrity Dividend: Leading by the Power of Your Word by Tony Simons. From the publisher: In The Integrity Dividend Tony Simons shows how leaders' personal integrity drives the profitability and overall success of their organization. This groundbreaking book is based in on solid research and reveals that businesses led by managers of higher integrity enjoy deeper employee commitment, lower turnover, superior customer service, and substantially higher profitability. This improved performance is the integrity dividend.
Here's a passage from the excerpt:
It's easy to break a promise. It's even easier to forget the price of breaking it. After all, who can measure that price? Few would deny that a broken promise lowers the morale of your employees, but what's the real dollar cost--the bottom line impact? Or what is the payoff of keeping a promise? It should be simple to align your words and actions in a way that employees can see. But if it's so simple why do most employees say their managers do not do it? Maybe it is not so simple.
Consider how two executives described to me the benefit of an impeccable word--and the cost of lacking one:
Good leadership is, 'Whatever I say I'm going to do, I'm going to do.' That means I have to know what my limitations are and what I'm capable of delivering. As a leader if you don't fulfill your commitments, I can't think of anything that can hurt you more than that.
--Frank Guidara, President and CEO, Uno's Chicago Grill
If your staff see you cutting corners, then they're not going to take you seriously. And then they're not going to take the values that you're trying to instill seriously. Because you're not taking the values seriously.
--Deirdre Wallace, President, The Ambrose Group

Like these successful executives, you, too, most likely want be an honest and respected leader. But this book is about more than being respected. As its title says, it's about The Integrity Dividend--and why and how keeping your word as a leader pays off on the bottom line. One thing that sets this book apart from others that discuss the importance of integrity is that it tells how I have been able to accurately measure its positive dollar impact. As you will see more in later chapters, successful executives I talk to recognize the dividend, too, but until now it has not been well measured.
I am not asking you to be motivated by any intrinsic payoff, though I think there are several. Integrity, for me, is about being more effective, because people see you as consistently following through on your word and demonstrating the values you profess: more effective as a leader, because you more readily capture the hearts of your followers; as a communicator, because people know you mean what you say; as a partner, because you can be counted on; as a customer because you complete business transactions more efficiently; as a supplier, because buyers can know what they will get; and as a brand, because you keep your promises--and promises are all that a brand is. Integrity contributes hugely to executive effectiveness.

Check out the full excerpt here: 800ceoread.com/excerpts/archives/008504.html

About Dylan Schleicher


Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.