This article on The Energy Integrity Matrix is intended to explore the relationship between energy levels and integrity and offers valuable insights, especially when considering the impact of these variables on the individual and in a leadership or team context.
Creating this matrix diagram with four quadrants to explore the dynamics of “energy level” and “moral character” is a helpful way to visualise the interactions of these two variables and is in reality a simple model to reflect and consider.
As with every model created there are variables and grades and spectrums to consider AND when you think about Energy and Integrity.
Energy has its own dynamic that can be radiating or draining, energy can be delivered and received, it can be positive and negative and so much more whereas
Integrity is a morally driven set of behaviours from a foundation value and belief system that is to be honest consistently and with uncompromising ethical principles. It is about doing what is ‘right’ rather than what is easy.
It is important to remember that labels like ‘high energy’ and ‘low energy’ are highly subjective and ‘high integrity’ and ‘low integrity’ is easier to define, and once again the definitions and interpretation of the labels will vary from person to person.
Remember: ‘nothing sits in isolation everything is connected’
As a personal thought process my Integrity is everything, it is my reputation, it is the foundation principle that I live my life and business.
My energy may ebb and flow –and it is pretty consistent and high most of the time. I have trained it to be and of course there are days when it just isn’t, although they are rare, and I am happy with that.
The Energy Integrity Matrix Description
Quadrant 1: High Energy + High Integrity
Individuals in this quadrant combine enthusiasm with strong ethical principles and are often viewed as positive, enthusiastic, and ethical. They inspire and motivate those around them, usually trying to bring about constructive change. They are transparent and typically aim for win-win outcomes. Their high energy is channelled into acts that benefit others as well as themselves.
The combination of positive intentions and high energy usually leads to successful outcomes that are beneficial for all involved. These individuals often play key roles in community service, leadership, and team collaborations and often excel in roles requiring leadership and initiative. They build trust quickly and inspire teams to high performance.
The risk of burnout is either for themselves or team members who try to keep up or alienating others who may not be able to match their level of enthusiasm. They may also become impatient with those who don’t share their values or pace.
Quadrant 2: Low Energy + High Integrity
Individuals in this quadrant are generally well-intentioned and uphold strong moral and ethical principles but may lack zeal and the drive or resources to execute their ideas fully. They are usually reliable, trustworthy and more reserved and thoughtful, taking time to analyse situations and often serve as the “moral compass” within a group.
The impact may be more subdued compared to those in Quadrant 1, but it’s generally positive. These individuals often excel in roles that require analytical thinking, thoughtful deliberation, ethical decision-making and planning rather than rapid execution. Their impact is often in ensuring that actions and decisions align with values.
They might struggle to energise or motivate others and could be overlooked for opportunities that require a high level of visible enthusiasm, assertiveness, or quick action.
Quadrant 3: High Energy + Low Integrity
These are individuals who have the energy and drive but lack ethical grounding, whose intentions are self-serving or harmful to others, but who possess the drive and energy to enact their will. They can be manipulative and may use their energy to persuade, deceive, coerce, or exploit to achieve their aims.
The results are often negative for those around them but may achieve the individual’s goals effectively. They may achieve short-term goals effectively, but at the cost of long-term trust and team cohesion They can be damaging in leadership roles, creating toxic environments.
The sustainability of their achievements is questionable, and long-term outcomes are often non-maintainable. Relationships are likely to suffer as they risk damaging their reputation and relationships.
Quadrant 4: Low Energy + Low Integrity
Individuals in this quadrant might have negative or harmful intentions but lack the energy to drive initiatives, to act significantly on their intentions and do not have the integrity to inspire trust. They may be disengaged, demotivated, or even deceitful but without the energy to be overtly harmful. Their impact is usually limited, but they can still create a negative atmosphere.
Due to their low energy, the harm they can cause is often less compared to those in Quadrant 3. Their impact is generally limited due to their lack of energy, but they can still erode trust and morale over time, they can be drains on group morale and productivity creating a negative environment.
They can contribute to a toxic environment if their negative traits are allowed to continue and fester. In a life, team or leadership context, they can become a ‘dead weight,’ requiring significant management resources to either improve their performance or mitigate their negative impact.
Understanding the 4 quadrants can be immensely helpful in many aspects of leadership and management, including team recruitment, conflict resolution, and self-awareness for personal development.
Knowing who you are, how you behave and how you affect others and caring about those aspects enough to do something about it is a step towards self-mastery.
High and Low Integrity Behaviours
Being in integrity is crucial for several reasons, many of which have broad implications not just for your individual success, but also for the health of all relationships, organisations, and society at large.
Remember: Integrity is the one thing that will make or break you long term.
Integrity is the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles and living your life in alignment with them at all times.
Integrity is foundational to building trust. Whether in personal relationships, at the workplace, or in broader social contexts, being consistent and honest in your actions helps people know what to expect from you. Trust is vital for meaningful and productive relationships.
Your reputation is one of your most valuable assets, and integrity is key to safeguarding it. A reputation for integrity means people are more likely to want to engage with you, whether that’s in friendship, business partnerships, or community involvement.
Being in integrity means making choices that align with your values and principles. This ethical framework often leads to better decision-making because it includes considerations beyond immediate self-interest, such as the well-being of others and long-term consequences.
Acting with integrity often aligns with your own conscience and moral compass, which leads to a sense of self-respect. This internal harmony can significantly contribute to mental and emotional well-being.
The act of maintaining integrity often involves self-reflection, the challenging of your own biases, and the willingness to change and grow. This process is essential for personal development.
In a work environment, those who maintain high levels of integrity are often more successful. They are generally trusted with more responsibilities, involved in important decision-making processes, and are more likely to be promoted.
When you run your own business, your integrity will be reflected in your reviews and testimonials, it will be reflected in the reputation your organisation has with its stakeholders and the wider community. It will affect everything from recruitment to profit.
Integrity can often defuse or prevent conflicts. Being transparent, accountable, and respectful of others makes it easier to navigate disagreements and find solutions that are acceptable to all parties involved.
While dishonesty and a lack of integrity might offer short-term advantages, such gains are usually unsustainable in the long run. Being in integrity establishes a pattern of behaviour that yields long-term benefits, often in the form of sustained relationships, trust, and even material success.
Social Fabric and Role Modelling
On a larger scale, integrity is vital for the functioning of societies. Laws and social norms are built on the assumption that most people will act truthfully and fairly. A lack of integrity can erode the basic trust that allows communities to function smoothly.
Now the act of assumption is one I fall into very irregularly, I have trained myself not to, and I urge you to think about how often you ‘assume’ that something or someone will be ‘good’ ‘ok’ ‘bad’ ‘unsatisfactory’ even before you know or have the experience.
I do not write this with cynicism of life, I write it with a healthy dose of pragmatism that not everything is as it first appears.
By embracing integrity, you pave the way for both personal and collective success, enriching your life and the lives of those you interact with.
Behaviours Associated with High and Low Integrity
Certainly, understanding behaviours associated with high and low integrity can be invaluable, especially in leadership and management roles. Here’s a brief breakdown:
Behaviours associated with High and Low Integrity
High Integrity Behaviours
Low Integrity Behaviours
Recognising these behaviours can help with self-assessment, team evaluations, and even in making hiring decisions. They serve as guiding principles for what to aspire to and what to avoid in fostering a culture of integrity.
High and Low Energy Traits
The descriptors are once again a perception of an energy state linked to a label, and of course, we all have a different understanding of what the label means in relation to our experiences and life history.
These are shared as a general concept and may not be linked to high or low energy – they could be a simple choice in the moment to do or not to do. It arrives back to not making assumptions and having the conversation to find out.
Remember: an individual could be high energy one day and low the next. What you are looking for as a consideration is a pattern of energy behaviours.
Remember: Integrity is key – energy can wax, and wane Integrity is vital to remain.
Energy Traits and Behaviours
High Energy Traits
Low Energy Traits
Understanding these traits can help you identify your own general energy levels, as well as those of your peers, colleagues, friends, network or team members, to better align with tasks and roles.
Remember: these traits are not universally ‘good’ or ‘bad’ but can be advantageous or disadvantageous depending on the situation.
Energy is a universal subject, and this brief set of words touches the surface for many, it is as far as it will go, and for others, they will be working with their energy and harnessing it to work with them and for them.
‘Nothing sits in isolation everything is connected’
If you like audio please hop across to The Conscious Leadership Podcast to hear more