Leading with Intention: Integrity
They say actions speak louder than words, and while I believe that to my core, I also hold another belief. Words have the power to inspire action. You can’t have one without the other.
I firmly believe SailPoint’s success wraps into four words. These core values, also known as the “4 Is”—innovation, impact, integrity, and individuals—are the cornerstones of our corporate culture and will continue to guide us as we grow.
In that vein, this piece focuses on our core value of integrity. As we’ve grown year after year, SailPoint continues to deliver on our commitments and promises to each other, our customers, and to those in our community. We strive to do the right thing at all times.
Imagine you’re a fledgling startup with a bright future when the economy comes to a crashing halt. Rather than cut jobs to avoid economic ruin, the entire company takes a pay cut to keep everyone on, baffling your senior advisors. Twelve years ago, I found myself in this situation. I was the CEO and co-founder of a new company, SailPoint, when the ’08 recession hit. When investors suggested that we cut 30% of our workforce to survive this economic ordeal, it went against every fiber of my being. We were essentially a family, so this simply sounded awful.
Back to the story. We knew there was a better way (see above), and together we found a solution. We fell back on the ‘integrity’ principle that we had set out and decided to go against that advice because of the commitments we made to each other. We were going to ride out the worst economic times since the Great Depression, one way or another, together. This was a counter-intuitive move at the time, but it was just the right thing to do.
Doing the right thing isn’t always the easiest thing to do or the most cost-effective, but integrity is a value we rely on time and time again. The events of 2020 are no exception.
I wrote in my first installment of “Leading with Intention,” that this year has been a rollercoaster, to put it mildly. 2020 started with the global pandemic, which forced everyone to live differently. Weddings, business conferences, and piano lessons, to cover the gamut, all went digital. While we continue to grapple with the gravity of this stay-at-home shift, our country is now facing a profound reckoning of how we handle race in America, specifically in the Black and African American communities. This extraordinary re-awakening of the civil rights dialogue was invigorated by the tragic, preventable, and senseless deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, among others. Our goal is to drive real change in our culture and the business community, which is, again, the right thing to do, and SailPoint is “all in.“
We will continue to listen, be open, and educate ourselves towards the progress of racial justice, diversity, and inclusion. To do this, we have recently partnered with the National Urban League and Notley Tide. Both have mission statements which support and advance the social and economic equality of Black and African American people. I also recently signed Austin’s technology community Open Letter committing to our action and progress toward racial justice. I am proud to work and live in a community that is stepping up to act on these important issues.
As we continue to grapple with both of these issues – a new “work from anywhere” norm and the need for significant improvements in diversity and inclusion as a way of life, I believe we are, in many ways, just beginning. While we continue to operate with integrity in our dealings with our colleagues, partners, customers and prospects in the context of COVID-19, we will also continue to intensify our existing efforts and to add on new initiatives as we seek to bring positive change regarding equality, both within SailPoint and within our broader community. In particular, I’ve challenged our team to remain focused on taking action in a way that will bring about substantive and lasting change. At SailPoint, we will continue to hold tightly to the value of integrity. It’s the right thing to do.