Michael Picture
J Michael Dolan

Our Deepest Ache (1:25)

I have a sense that during these “interesting” times we live in, we are all searching, actually aching for integrity in our leaders, factual information from our media, dependability from our entrepreneurs, and truth from our artists. 

That said, I was compelled to search the inner library of my soul for a good definition of integrity—so that I can recognize it if I ever see it walking up the street some day. So I reached back into my archives and found a story I wrote back in 2011 that is more relevant today than ever before. And what I learned was that integrity alone is a very funny thing. It’s as elusive as luck, as valuable as money and as important as your social security number. However, you won’t get hired simply because you’ve got it, and it could cost you your entire career if you lose it. Sometimes we value it, sometimes we don’t. However, in my 40 years of grappling with impossible projects and cantankerous people in show business, I have seen that integrity is very easy to fake. Therefore, if we are truly searching for a resolve to sooth our deepest ache and desire for truth, then we’re going to need something much bigger than integrity. We’re going to have to move up to PROBITY!

What I’ve noticed is that Probity is far beyond Integrity. It’s the other side of Integrity—like the far side of the moon. If Integrity is being the best you can possibly be, then Probity moves in and improves on it. 

If Integrity’s a winner, Probity’s a champion. 

While Integrity commits to an exciting new project, Probity relentlessly commits to manifesting a mission...Mission Impossible!

If an act of Integrity is worthy and righteous, than an act of Probity is noble and selfless.

When Integrity takes the high road, Probity takes a jet. 

If Integrity means showing up for the job on time, Probity means seeing to it that the work you do represents the very best of what you have to offer, and contributes to everyone involved, with no one left out.

If Integrity means being committed, then Probity means being committed to your commitments.

Important because in an attempt to sooth my deepest ache, my quest for truth, I am no longer looking for integrity anymore—in people, events, situations or politicians. Like I said, it’s too easy to fake. I am now watching out for random and spontaneous glimpses of Probity in who ever I meet and what ever I do. That’s why in 2010 I named my consulting business “The Probity Network.”

Inspired by a story I wrote in 2011, titled Barenaked Probity.