Friday, May 22, 2015

Why Integrity Matters and how the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corporation lost it

Integrity is an principle of character found upon elements including honesty, fortitude, dependability, and the equitable treatment of similarly situated people. Integrity is a demonstration of morality.

Nearly half of us were raised by parents lacking necessary integrity for us to form a secure attachment. These parents may have ignored our pleas for aid choosing to instead respond at their convenience. Others may have been less harmful but still harmful in administering physical abuse. Whatever the method employed to inhibit the establishment of a secure attachment these parents failed to demonstrate integrity. That is, they did not project to our infant selves that they would be dependable, that we were treated fairly, that we were of primary importance, and that they possessed the qualities necessary to fulfill their decision to be and undertaking as a parent.

As adults all of us look for integrity in the persons with whom we have relationships; be they personal or business. Likewise others are looking for that quality in each of us. When engaging in a reciprocal bond we do so upon trust. That trust is violated when an action lacking in integrity is neither acknowledged or corrected.

For parents it is critical that they demonstrate integrity to their children. This is more fundamental to providing a child of parents in conflict with the security that his or her needs will be met during the time of great flux. Honesty with the child, consistency, and fair treatment help to meet this need. Your bad day at work is not justification for ignoring your child, administering arbitrary punishments, or lying about the basis for not meeting a child’s wants or needs. As I imbue in my clients there is only one valid excuse: I failed to make that a priority.

Integrity is not differentiated in the business spectrum. Regardless of what is happening personally your customers, clients, guest, visitors, or however the other party in your relationship is titled he or she must be treated with respect backed by integrity. It is ultimately the responsibility of management at the highest level to ensure that everyone throughout the personnel echelon adheres to principles of integrity.

The incident at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, which I wrote about in 2011 Indianapolis Motor Speedway - Indy 500, demonstrated the lack of integrity of the track personnel from the President down. The incident of being treated with such disrespect was the defeasance to our contract. That contract was terminated at my request to do so if the administration felt that they would be unable to compel their employees to be dignified in their treatment of me. After some phones calls at the administration office the contract was terminated.

I followed-up with an email to the president of the IMS Corp who refused to acknowledge my complaint sent to him. This further exudes his dereliction in personnel matters. The disputatious basis for rudely telling me to “just get out!” is irrelevant to the matter of the disrespect shown to anyone who is a guest of a business facility. Even if the employee had not been incorrect about her made-up-on-the-spot policy no visitor to a facility should be shouted at by an employee and told to leave upon challenging the employee to substantiate the so-called policy.

Collectively as stewards of our society we must demonstrate integrity for our children. This requires severing ties to those who lack integrity and harm children in the process. When a clerk at Wal-Mart say the clearance price on a toy my son had chosen she called over the store manager. The manager asked if there were anymore. When I responded no she took the toy from my son and said “This is not for sale” leaving my son sitting in the cart crying. Respect for my son, my character, and my duty as a steward of the society upon which my son would evolve required that I never make a financial contribution to Wal-Mart again. Regretfully I was in a jam once and made a late night purchase there in the past 15 years. But I have since made it a priority to never again be in the position of needing to patronize Wal-Mart. The love of my son requires it. He knows that I have integrity because I acted in accordance with a parent who possesses integrity.

Parents who punish their children through the arbitrary denial of parenting time or who, based upon their own feelings or circumstances, condition their dedication to their children are lacking in integrity. The children are acutely aware of the parental lack of integrity and respond accordingly, usually in a manner that the parent would label as a behavioural problem. They are behavioural problems but not on the part of the children. While these direct actions by a parent demonstrate a lack of integrity so does the failure to appropriately respond to acts adverse to the child. If I had not responded to Wal-Mart’s illegal, unethical and immoral business practice then I would have demonstrated to my son that I lack integrity and cannot protect him or meet his needs which is something a child of age two desperately requires.

The Indianapolis 500 as an event and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as a business entity lack integrity. People who lack integrity are, collectively, harmful to children and as such I am still morally bound to avoid providing any support to those who lack integrity and thus harm children. As I seek to adhere to the moral absolute I will not allow myself to contribute to the harm of children for my personal enjoyment. I enjoyed spending 15-20 days a year at the IMS but that cannot come upon the harm to children. Hence, I will never purchase a diamond and, as I said previously, if you ever see me at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway feel free to run up and kick me in the balls to remind me that I need to affirm my integrity.

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©2008, 2015 Stuart Showalter, LLC. Permission is granted to all non-commercial entities to reproduce this article in it's entirety with credit given.

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