Warren Buffett is renowned for his investing wisdom, but many of his most successful investments are in people. As Buffett once said, “I really have only two jobs. One is to attract and keep outstanding managers to run our various operations.”
Attracting and keeping outstanding managers starts with one clear prerequisite. Buffett explains:
“We look for three things when we hire people. We look for intelligence, we look for initiative or energy, and we look for integrity.”
Take a hint as to which of the three Buffett prioritizes first. In his own words, “If they don’t have [integrity], the first two will kill you, because if you’re going to get someone without integrity, you want them lazy and dumb.”
Without integrity, intelligence, drive, energy will only get you so far. Hiring without it is also a big business risk.
Why integrity matters
Psychologist and best-selling author Henry Cloud wrote the book on why integrity matters and sheds good light on the topic. In Integrity: The Courage to Meet the Demands of Reality, he says, “Who a person is will ultimately determine if their brains, talents, competencies, energy, effort, deal-making abilities, and opportunities will succeed.”
As you learn and adapt to all aspects of your integrity, you’ll eventually arrive at a point where it becomes easier to develop trust, repair a relationship after a conflict, listen with empathy, or give critical feedback to build someone up.
The ability to connect authentically with others and the ability to be oriented toward the truth are two non-negotiable parts of a person with integrity. In essence, this is someone who will leverage both abilities to operate from honesty, embrace change, reject wrongdoing, and get real results for meaningful purposes.
When we don’t have the capacity to intentionally live out of our own integrity, it will have an adverse effect on us functionally and relationally. To avert disaster, try putting these stra