36 Integrity Quotes – Wise Words For An Ethical Life

What is integrity in a person?

Integrity is a powerful word, but what does it really mean? Integrity can be defined as the quality of being honest, having strong moral principles and most importantly, sticking to them!

The dictionary defines integrity as “adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character.”

It’s important that we have integrity because we are all human beings with flaws. That means that at times, you will make mistakes or do something wrong. But if you don’t have integrity, then those mistakes could turn into something much worse.

When it comes to integrity, actions always speak louder than words!

How do you show integrity?

Integrity requires honesty with ourselves as well as others; living up to our obligations or promises we’ve made and doing the right thing even when no one is looking. We can show integrity in some of the following ways: 

  • Be honest in all dealings with others,
  • Do what you say you will do, when you say it will be done,
  • Treat people as they deserve to be treated – with respect and dignity,
  • Take responsibility for your actions – don’t blame someone else when things go wrong,
  • Don’t take advantage of anyone’s vulnerability or ignorance,
  • Admit when you are wrong and apologize for any harm caused by your actions,
  • Speak up when something is wrong or needs to be changed.

What is a motto for integrity?

When committing to being a person of integrity, it can be useful to have a motto for integrity, or a quote that you choose to live by. It can help keep things in perspective and act as a guide.

The following quotes are great examples of mottos that you could use, or you may choose to add some personal touches to expand on them.

Integrity Quotes


“Live so that when your children think of fairness, caring, and integrity, they think of you.” H. Jackson Brown, Jr.


“If you don’t stand for something you will fall for anything.”  Gordon A. Eadie


“Image is what people think we are. Integrity is what we really are.” John C. Maxwell


“Integrity is doing the right thing when nobody’s watching and doing as you say you would do.” Roy T. Bennett


“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


“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


“Living with integrity means: Not settling for less than what you know you deserve in your relationships. Asking for what you want and need from others. Speaking your truth, even though it might create conflict or tension. Behaving in ways that are in harmony with your personal values. Making choices based on what you believe, and not what others believe.” Barbara De Angelis


“In the end you should always do the right thing even if it’s hard.” Nicholas Sparks


“Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody’s going to know whether you did it or not.” Oprah Winfrey


“Goodness is about character – integrity, honesty, kindness, generosity, moral courage, and the like. More than anything else, it is about how we treat other people.” Dennis Prage


“It takes courage to create a meaningful life of integrity. It also requires good company. And practice.” Shelly Francis


“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


“Be impeccable with your word. Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.” Don Miguel Ruiz


“Wherever you find a great man, you will find a great mother or a great wife standing behind him — or so they used to say. It would be interesting to know how many great women have had great fathers and husbands behind them.” Dorothy L. Sayers


“If it is not right do not do it; if it is not true do not say it.” Marcus Aurelius


“If you don’t have integrity, you have nothing. You can’t buy it. You can have all the money in the world, but if you are not a moral and ethical person, you really have nothing.” Henry Kravis


“Six essential qualities that are the key to success: Sincerity, personal integrity, humility, courtesy, wisdom, charity.” Dr. William Menninger


“Develop your character so that you are a person of integrity.” Peter Cain


“The high road is always respected. Honesty and integrity are always rewarded.” Scott Hamilton


“One of the truest tests of integrity is its blunt refusal to be compromised.” Chinua Achebe


“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


“A single lie destroys a whole reputation of integrity.” Baltasar Gracian


“I cannot and will not cut my conscience to fit this year’s fashions.” Lillian Hellman


“It’s easy to have principles when you’re rich. The important thing is to have principles when you’re poor.” Ray Kroc


“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


Integrity Quotes For Work & Business

In the workplace, integrity is a rare and valuable thing. It’s also something that many people are looking for when they choose to go into a new job. Integrity means always doing what you say you will do, being honest in your words and actions, and not tolerating anything less from those around you in the workplace:


“There is no higher claim to journalistic integrity than going to jail to protect a source.” Thomas Frank


“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


“In looking for people to hire, look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence and energy. And if they don’t have the first, the other two will kill you.” Warren Buffett


“To be persuasive we must be believable; to be believable we must be credible; credible we must be truthful.”— Edward R. Murrow


“Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters.” Albert Einstein


Integrity Leadership Quotes


“I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live up to what light I have.” Abraham Lincoln


“Supporting the truth, even when it is unpopular, shows the capacity for honesty and integrity.” Steve Brunkhorst


“You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.” Abraham Lincoln


“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


“Openness, respect, integrity – these are principles that need to underpin pretty much every other decision that you make.” Justin Trudeau


“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



The truth will set you free. Integrity makes your life better, because it is a promise to yourself and others that says “I care enough about myself and my promises to do the right thing.”

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