Make Integrity the Cornerstone of Your Brand

Tweet 62 in my career advice book Success Tweets: 140 Bits of Common Sense Career Success Advice, All in 140 Characters or Less says, “Your personal brand should be unique to you, but built on integrity.  Integrity is doing the right thing when no one is looking.”

This article delves into the idea of integrity and provides some great advice on how leaders can help make integrity a cornerstone of their organization.

Think of it this way…

Integrity is consistency of actions, values, methods, measures and principles.  Integrity and consistency are intertwined. People who are consistent in their actions are seen as people with a high degree of integrity.

Oprah says, “Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody’s going to know whether you did it or not.” This is true. If you practice situational ethics – doing the right thing only when you’re in the public eye — you aren’t really a person of high integrity, you’re just pretending to be one. Besides, it’s hard to act one way in public, and another in private. So to be safe, resolve to act like Oprah. Do the right thing because it’s the right thing to do – not because you’ll get credit, or avoid getting into trouble.

John Maxwell is a well-known business author. One of his books sends the same message. It’s called, There’s No Such Thing As Business Ethics: There’s Only One Rule for Making Decisions. According to John, that rule is the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” In other words, do the right thing. There’s a practical side to this too.

Mark Twain once said, “If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.” In other words, if you’re always a person of high integrity, it’s easy to be a person of high integrity; there are no complicating factors – like remembering what you did or said in a given situation.

Polonius gave similar advice to Hamlet. “To thine own self be true, and it must follow as the day the night, thou canst be false to no man.” Roy Blackman, my father in law, passed away a few years ago. This quote was his epitaph. It was on the program handed out at his funeral. Roy embodied it in how he lived his life. It was the only piece of advice he gave his grandson, Matt, as he went off to college.

Oprah, John Maxwell, Mark Twain and Shakespeare are all in agreement on one common sense piece of career advice. If you want to become known as a person of high integrity – and I believe integrity is the cornerstone of any personal brand – act as a person of high integrity all the time – not just when it suits you, or when someone might notice.

The common sense career mentor point here is simple. Creating positive personal impact is one of the competencies all successful people possess. One of the ways you create positive personal impact is by developing and nurturing your unique personal brand. Your personal brand should be uniquely you, but it should be built on integrity. Follow the advice in Tweet 62 in Success Tweets. Build your personal brand on integrity.

Your career mentor,


PS: I write this blog to help people create the life and career success they want and deserve.  Now I’m going one step further.  I’ve created a membership site in which I’ve pulled together my best thoughts on success.  And, as a reader of this blog, you can become a member for free.  Just go to to claim your free membership. You’ll be joining a vibrant and growing community of success minded professionals. I hope to see you there


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