Ability vs. Integrity – are they mutually exclusive?

Posted: October 16, 2007 in Uncategorized

You know, it never ceases to amaze me how many people I meet who have so little integrity. While I do believe that integrity can only be accurately defined through an understanding of Jesus Christ as the 1st cause of morality, and thus, the very essence of what integrity is, a belief in Jesus Christ is not essential to someone manifesting a high level of integrity.


Don’t freak out! This is NOT a post on religion. I merely stated my conviction as a necessary part of identifying how I define and view integrity.


Yeah, I know. My point is, there can be a whole gaggle of folks out in the business world who have a very high level of ability, but does this ability make up for a lack of integrity? For instance, would you choose someone to serve your clients because they had a stellar ability, even if you knew that they lacked integrity? Does the one supercede the other?

Hmmm, that’s a good question!

The better question is – Are ability and integrity mutually exclusive? Or, put another way, are ability and integrity not compatiable? Put even yet one more way – Can ability and integrity coexist in the same operation? If the answer is no, then the world must settle for one over the other, cross their fingers, and hope for the best. If the answer is yes, then it would be of utmost importance to you to choose wisely who it is that you select to represent you in the business world, or in anything, for that matter.

This prompts us to ask a question —

How do you find someone who has both ability and integrity?

It’s a good question. In fact, it’s the question. And I believe that there are some methods to employ in seeking out someone who matches this criteria. Are these methods fool proof? Of course they are not fool proof. I’ll tell you, I have met some of the most amazingly deceptive people – EVER. They are the kind of people (as I heard it once said) that can be peeing on your leg, telling you that it’s raining, and you believe them. Hyperbole? Yes! True in its poignancy? Yes!


Back to the question and the answer:

  • Follow an interview process – there are a ton of processes out there already created. Don’t reinvent the wheel. For example, Keller Williams Heritage uses the D.I.S.C. method and the A.V.A. I’ve been trained in both. They are very valuable tools for identifying a style of behavior that is dominant in the prospective team member. But the more pressing value to you is that you will really get to know the person through the process. Certain character traits will inevitably come out.
  • Do a 3 deep – This is explained within the Career Visioning process at Keller Williams. In a nutshell it is taking the first reference given to you by the prospective team member (which will always be an advocate for the person giving the reference), asking that first reference for another reference, and then asking the second reference for a third reference. By the time you get to the third reference you will get a much truer sense of who the person is.
  • Ask others about their track record – A proven track record says more about a person than most anything. If you can ask others about the person you are looking at to become a team member, and other people have negative things to say about the person that you are considering, this says quite a bit. Granted, there will always be a negative review here and there about just about anyone. However, when the majority of folks have a predisposed bias against the prospective team member because of a track record, you need to heavily weigh this in your decision.
  • Who are they consistently? – Anyone can put up a front. You know what I mean? Anyone can smile at your face during an interview, romance you when they are really wanting something, and then do the leg peeing thing once the honeymoon is over. But if you get a sense of who the person is consistently, then there is less likely a chance of you having to take the hose to your leg.

These are just some basic criteria to follow. If you already know the person, and you’ve seen that they are faithful, loyal, diligent, trustworthy, not prone to gossip, hardworkers, professionals, and so forth, then the rest of the criteria would just be icing on the cake. But DO NOT do like most people when it comes to hiring someone —

Mirror Test - Bad! Oh look – they breathed onto the mirror. They’re hired!

The person who represents you means almost more than your own first impression!

Dustin Curlee


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s