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Integrity is one of the most sought-after and also one of the most misunderstood character traits. It is often defined simply as straightforward honesty. A couple other definitions are “doing the right thing” and “being reliable.”
But what exactly is integrity, and why does society put such a high premium on it?
Having integrity is more than being honest or reliable—it is doing these things constantly, in any situation. Being honest does not just mean telling the truth all the time. It also means acting in a way that authentically reflects a person’s inner values and personal beliefs.
Reading integrity quotes can inspire you to cultivate and strengthen this characteristic within you. In today’s post, we’ve handpicked 77 of these inspiring quotes from people who exhibited integrity in their own lives
We have integrity quotes for work and business; quotes about reputation and integrity; integrity quotes for kids; and spiritual integrity quotes.
Let’s first dive into integrity quotes for work and business. May these wise words motivate you to consistently act with integrity when it comes to your vocation.
Integrity Quotes for Work and Business
- “Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching.” – C. S. Lewis
- “I often warn people: Somewhere along the way, someone is going to tell you, ‘There is no “I” in team.’ What you should tell them is, ‘Maybe not. But there is an “I” in independence, individuality and integrity.’” – George Carlin
“Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest.” – Mark Twain
- “Be impeccable with your words and speak with integrity. Say only what you mean and use the power of your words in the direction of truth and love.” – Don Miguel Ruiz
- “Nothing more completely baffles one who is full of trick and duplicity, than straightforward and simple integrity in another.” – Charles Caleb Colton
- “If you believe in unlimited quality and act in all your business dealings with total integrity, the rest will take care of itself.” – Frank Perdue
- “As I have said, the first thing is to be honest with yourself. You can never have an impact on society if you have not changed yourself. Great peacemakers are all people of integrity, of honesty, but humility.” – Nelson Mandela
- “Develop your character so that you are a person of integrity.” – Peter Cain
- “Customer retention may be best supported by operational integrity. After all, when you think about your personal relationships as well as your business relationships, you tend to stick with the folks that are really good at showing they sincerely care about you, and doing what they say they're going to do. It boils down to trust.” – L. Hunsaker
- “Honor your commitments with integrity.” – Les Brown
“Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody’s going to know whether you did it or not.” – Oprah Winfrey
- “To give real service you must add something which cannot be bought or measured with money, and that is sincerity and integrity.” – Donald A. Adams
- “Think P.I.G. – that's my motto. P stands for Persistence, I stands for Integrity, and G stands for Guts. These are the ingredients for a successful business and a successful life.” – Linda Chandler
In business, a good reputation leads to more clients choosing you over the competition. On a personal level, a good reputation means that you usually have more influence on others. Other people tend to look up to you, and you become a role model for them.
However, a good reputation is a fragile thing. A single misstep is all it takes to shatter what took you a long time to establish.
To keep your good reputation, you need to act consistently. And this is where integrity becomes priceless. Without it, you are merely pretending to have good values. Integrity teaches you to act with sincerity.
To jumpstart your sincerity, here is a collection of quotes about reputation and integrity.
Quotes About Reputation and Integrity
“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power.” – Abraham Lincoln
- “Integrity is so perishable in the summer months of success.” – Vanessa Redgrave
- “Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters.” – Albert Einstein
- “Your reputation and integrity are everything. Follow through on what you say you're going to do. Your credibility can only be built over time, and it is built from the history of your words and actions.” – Maria Razumich-Zec
- “Once you get rid of integrity the rest is a piece of cake.” – Larry Hagman
- “A life lived with integrity even if it lacks the trappings of fame and fortune is a shining star in whose light others may follow in the years to come.” – Denis Waitley
- “A man should be upright, not be kept upright.” – Marcus Aurelius
- “That you may retain your self-respect, it is better to displease the people by doing what you know is right, than to temporarily please them by doing what you know is wrong.” – William Boetcker
- “A single lie destroys a whole reputation of integrity.” – Baltasar Gracian
- “To starve to death is a small thing, but to lose one’s integrity is a great one.” – Chinese Proverb
- “Character is what you are in the dark.” – Dwight L. Moody
- “Integrity is not a conditional word. It doesn't blow in the wind or change with the weather. It is your inner image of yourself, and if you look in there and see a man who won't cheat, then you know he never will.” – John D. MacDonald
- “Have the courage to say no. Have the courage to face the truth. Do the right thing because it is right. These are the magic keys to living your life with integrity.” – W. Clement Stone
- “Live so that when your children think of fairness, caring, and integrity, they think of you.” – H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
Living a life of integrity is important, especially if you are a parent or a caregiver to a child.
Children tend to follow what adults do, so it is essential for you to act in a way that consistently models correct behavior. You might want to check out this post for some tips on how to help your child develop healthy habits.
The following integrity quotes for kids help explain the concept of integrity to young people, as well as give examples of what this character trait embodies.
Integrity Quotes for Kids
- “Be true to your work, your word, and your friend.” – Henry David Thoreau
- “Integrity is not something that grownups have and adolescents can aspire to. Integrity is something that all of us, at all ages, are constantly striving for.” – Harold Kushner
- “A half truth is a whole lie.” – Yiddish Proverb
- “When I do good, I feel good. When I do bad, I feel bad.” – Abraham Lincoln
- “The time is always right to do what is right.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
- “Live so that your friends can defend you but never have to.” – Arnold H. Glasow
“Keep true, never be ashamed of doing right, decide on what you think is right and stick to it.” – George Eliot
- “Integrity is choosing courage over comfort; choosing what is right over what is fun, fast, or easy; and choosing to practice our values rather than simply professing them.” – Brené Brown
- “When the whole world is silent, even one voice becomes powerful.” – Malala Yousafzai
- “If you just set out to be liked, you would be prepared to compromise on anything at any time, and you would achieve nothing.” – Margaret Thatcher
- “If you don't stand for something you will fall for anything.” – Gordon A. Eadie
- “Integrity is what we do, what we say, and what we say we do.” – Don Galer
- “In the end you should always do the right thing even if it's hard.” – Nicholas Sparks
People who have integrity share several common traits. The following are some of the most obvious characteristics exhibited by people who stand up for what they believe and do what’s right all the time:
- They are humble.
- They give credit when it’s due.
- They respect and value your time.
- They are respectful, even in arguments.
- They give the benefit of the doubt.
- They defend those who are absent.
- They exhibit accountability.
- They are authentic.
- They often have a sense of spirituality.
Speaking of spirituality, the following spiritual integrity quotes have been handpicked to give you inspiration to persevere in your quest to live in integrity.
Spiritual Integrity Quotes
- “In all things preserve integrity; and the consciousness of think own uprightness will alleviate the toil of business, soften the hardness of ill-success and disappointments, and give thee a humble confidence before God.” – Anonymous
- “There are seven things that will destroy us: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Religion without sacrifice; Politics without principle; Science without humanity; Business without ethics.” – Mahatma Gandhi
“I cannot find language of sufficient energy to convey my sense of the sacredness of private integrity.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
- “Live with integrity, respect the rights of other people, and follow your own bliss.” – Nathaniel Branden
- “Wisdom is knowing the right path to take. Integrity is taking it.” – M. H. McKee
- “There is no pillow so soft as a clear conscience.” – French Proverb
- “If you look into your own heart, and you find nothing wrong there, what is there to worry about? What is there to fear?” – Confucius
- “People of integrity and honesty not only practice what they preach, they are what they preach.” – David A. Bednar
- “Let no pleasure tempt thee, no profit allure thee, no persuasion move thee, to do anything which thou knowest to be evil; so shalt thou always live jollity; for a good conscience is a continual Christmas.” – Benjamin Franklin
- “Integrity is your destiny. It is the light that guides your way.” – Plato
- “Let me be weighed on honest scales, that God may know my integrity.” – Job 31:6
Inspiring Integrity Quotes
- With integrity, you have nothing to fear, since you have nothing to hide. With integrity, you will do the right thing, so you will have no guilt.” – Zig Zigla
“It takes courage to create a meaningful life of integrity. It also requires good company. And practice.” – Shelly Francis
- “Do what is right, not what is easy nor what is popular.” – Roy T. Bennett
- “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
- “Integrity is the essence of everything successful.” – R. Buckminster Fuller
- “Integrity is making sure that the things you say and the things you do are in alignment.” – Katrina Mayer
- “With many overhead schemes for the world’s salvation, everything rests back on integrity and driving power in personal character.” – Harry Emerson Fosdick
- “When you are content to be simply yourself and don't compare or compete, everyone will respect you.” – Lao Tzu
- “The greatness of a man is not in how much wealth he acquires, but in his integrity and his ability to affect those around him positively.” – Bob Marley
- “If you have integrity, nothing else matters. If you don’t have integrity, nothing else matters.” – Harvey Mackay
- “The integrity of men is to be measured by their conduct, not by their professions.” – Junius
- “Our deeds determine us, as much as we determine our deeds.” – George Eliot
- “I cannot and will not cut my conscience to fit this year's fashions.” – Lillian Hellman
- “We learned about honesty and integrity – that the truth matters… that you don’t take shortcuts or play by your own set of rules… and success doesn’t count unless you earn it fair and square.” – Michelle Obama
- “Integrity is the ability to accept one’s past choices and actions and go forth and act in accordance with one’s deepest values from within.” – Lynn Namka
- “Creating a culture of integrity and accountability not only improves effectiveness, it also generates a respectful, enjoyable and life-giving setting in which to work.” – Tom Hanson
- “I prefer to be true to myself, even at the hazard of incurring the ridicule of others, rather than to be false, and to incur my own abhorrence.” – Frederick Douglass
- “When you are able to maintain your own highest standards of integrity – regardless of what others may do – you are destined for greatness.” – Napoleon Hill
- “Integrity is the most valuable and respected quality of leadership. Always keep your word.” – Brian Tracy
- “Knowing what’s right doesn’t mean much unless you do what’s right.” – Franklin Roosevelt
We need more people with integrity.
A life lived with integrity paves the way to true happiness. And since living with integrity is a deliberate and mindful practice, you can consider learning how to do it as a new positive habit you’re cultivating in your life.
If you value integrity and justice and want to treat others fairly, take the time to learn about confirmation bias.
We hope that the integrity quotes (along with our favorite songs about honesty) we featured today can be your inspiring companions on this journey.
If you’re interested to learn other positive habits, check out this post for a list of over 200 good daily habits to energize you.
Finally, if you want to use these quotes to make a lasting change to your life, then watch this free video that details the 7-minute habit for planning your day to focus on what's truly important to you..