Integrity Matters, But Can You Measure It?


When I was in elementary school, my Dad would drop me off at school. Every morning, he would leave me with the same words of wisdom: “Keep your promises.” He was taking the opportunity to remind me that whether it was the first day of fourth grade or a new job, values matter.

We learn the importance of personal values when we’re young. Share your toys. Say thank you. In my case, keep your promises. When we get older, there might not be anyone to remind us—but the critical importance of these personal values remains the same.

Some organizations list their company values on their websites. At Ecosystems, we integrate our values in conversations and reference them for regular decision-making (“R” for respect, “I” for integrity, “C” for courage, “H” for honesty, “E” for excellence, “S” for service).

No one will argue that values like integrity are not important.  Yet, why do we not look to integrity as an indicator of measuring business success?

The Impact of Integrity


According to new research, integrity is not only a significant factor in business success–but it can also be measured. When quantifying a company’s success, integrity should be at the top of the list, along with other metrics like revenue, profit, and growth.

In Dr. Kiel’s new book, Return on Character: The Real Reason Leaders and Their Companies Win, he shares results from a study of more than 100 CEOs and 8,000 employees. Throughout his research, he assessed the business value of great leadership–specifically, the value of integrity.

He found that of the companies he studied, those with high-integrity CEOs (as determined by their employees), saw an overall greater return on assets and higher employee engagement, compared to companies with low-integrity CEOs.

If a CEO’s integrity affects overall company direction this significantly, to what extent is your own integrity affecting your success? Probably more than you think . . . As value experts with a purpose to make your value clear, anyone who would like Ecosystems to help quantify this can send me a note at

Send us a submission!

We’re always interested in quantifying unique concepts, whether it’s a character quality like integrity or a transformative service like Airbnb.

Do you have an idea about something that would be interesting to quantify? Let us know. Maybe our Value Consultants will accept your challenge and a future blog post will feature your idea . . .

About the Author

Chad Quinn

Chad Quinn

Chad is the president and founder of Ecosystems. For the last 15 years, Chad has led the organization, focusing on helping Fortune 500 companies set up Value Management Offices (VMOs) to quantify, capture, and report on business value. Chad's passion is to impact the lives of others. At Ecosystems, he focuses on clarifying the impact of investments on business strategy and operations. Within his community, he focuses on the impact of local organizations while serving as the Chair of the McLean Community Center Governing Board.

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