Have Integrity

[Post by Chuck Krugh, August 5, 2022]

“Have Integrity” is the fourth of five expectations I detailed in our town hall meetings during my first week at BIW. As some of you have noted, during the all hands meetings it was the first item on my list. I changed the order when I was challenged about why Safety wasn’t first. To avoid confusion, I made it the fourth on my list of expectations and made Safety first on the list.

For the past three weeks, I have been putting a little more meat on the bones of each of those five expectations, and “Have Integrity” really encompasses all of them: Work Safe, Do It Right the First Time, Meet Your Schedule Commitments, and Be an Active Participant in Making Our Company Stronger for the Future (which will be next week’s topic).

The dictionary definition of integrity is “the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles.” Integrity is a word used to describe a person’s character or honor.

What I mean when I say “I expect my co-workers to have integrity” is that all of us at BIW are honest, straightforward and doing the right thing―even when no one is looking.

In those same town halls, I laid out what everyone who works at BIW can expect from me. The first three of those are:

  1. A straight answer based on the facts.
  2. Consistent, fair and equitable decisions.
  3. If I can tell you something, I’ll tell you.

These are the expectations I have set for myself, and they are part of my personal integrity. I am a straight shooter, and if I tell you something, it will be the truth. To me, being honest is essential to building trust. In a company, it’s critical that we trust one another. Acting with integrity builds trust.

Workplace safety is about acting with integrity―it is about having a personal code that prioritizes your safety and that of your co-workers. Having integrity means following procedures. This helps us all trust that everyone is doing their job as safely as they can, especially those who are watching out for you.

Doing your job right the first time is acting with integrity. It means not taking shortcuts. It means following the process and checking to make sure the appropriate prep is done before executing your task, and making sure your task is done and done right before passing it on to the next stage of production.

Meeting your schedule commitments is acting with integrity. It is doing what you said you will do when you said you would do it. It is identifying problems and acting to solve them while minimizing their impact to the line.

Acting with integrity is being accountable. It is working a full day. It is understanding how critical your work is and how it supports all of the other work in the yard. It is getting your job done so the person who is waiting for you to finish can get started on their work.

When we hold ourselves to the standard of acting with integrity, so many other things that make us successful―both personally and professionally―simply fall into place. It isn’t always easy, but doing the right thing, even when no one is looking, will make a big difference in our safety and our ability to meet our commitments down the road.

President, General Dynamics Bath Iron Works

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