Integrity is doing the right thing

Lighthouse meme by Alison Read denoting integrity

 

I wanted to create some memes illustrating my core values, and my integrity is very important to me.  I am honest and straightforward, I like supporting other people, I don’t play games or manipulate people for my own gain.  If I commit to doing something I will do it.  It’s nothing more than choosing to treat others as I would like to be treated.

I used to manage a technical support department for a large software company.  I loved it.  My team could answer any question on our 3D modelling software, and if we couldn’t figure it out, then it was generally a fault in the program.  We proactively shared our knowledge, creating white papers and newsletters, and running open forums for end-users and dealers.

Then, as often happens to young, ambitious people in large firms, I was encouraged to further my career and branch out into consulting.  This meant joining the sales team on customer visits, travelling across Europe meeting important clients and enthusing wildly about the amazing things our software could do.

I hated it.  I knew exactly what the products could do, and what they couldn’t, but here I was being asked to support all sorts of claims about features and functionality, in order to make the sale and snare a heavy commission.  My integrity was compromised and it made me very miserable indeed.  I turned down the salary, the car and the expenses and walked away.

Hence the quote about integrity – doing the right thing even when no one is watching – and a photo of a lighthouse felt like the perfect fit.

In posting this to Facebook, I decided to start telling ‘the story behind the shot’, indulge in a little copywriting of my own, and share some of my personal stories.

So this is the lighthouse at Dunnet Head, the most northerly point on the British mainland. John O’Groats is often erroneously promoted as being the furthest north, but it is simply one end of an established long distance route across Britain.

Dunnet Head needs no such pretensions, the wild and windswept peninsula is simply breathtaking, with views across the Pentland Firth to Orkney. The day we visited we were treated to displays of puffins tumbling about the clear skies, and fields of velvet soft bog cotton bobbing in the breeze. I wonder whether the soldiers stationed there in World War II had quite such a romantic impression as they kept watch over Scapa Flow from their brutal concrete bunkers!

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