Probably the most important as well as most unexpected takeaway I got from my Financial Accounting class was on the last day. The professor teaching the class, also the CFO of Resources Connection, gave us a speech on the last day of class about integrity. He said that so much of the economy’s problems stemmed from a lack of integrity on the part of CEOs and CFOs and that once you lost your integrity, it was gone for good. When he talked to people, whose companies were having problems, about what changes they would make related to their careers, most said that if they had one thing to take back, they would go back to the first time that they had compromised their integrity to make things easier or run more smoothly.
I think that this is hugely important as the decisions that upper management make flow down to all levels of the organization and effect corporate culture. If you want to instill integrity in your organization, you not only have to talk the talk but walk the walk.
CEO, BlueVortex, LLC