Guiding Principle #9
We value honesty, integrity and trust as essentials of teamwork, personal relationships and leadership.
The IFYE Association leadership considers this guiding principle a key element for conducting the mission of our organization. A more in-depth look shows us why it is so important. Our organization is heavily dependent on teamwork, personal relationships, and strong leadership to run our daily operations and conduct our mission in a satisfactory manner.
Therefore, the essential elements of honesty, integrity and trust are required to get the job done. These elements also play a significant role for participants to establish personal relationships with host family members, as well as others they meet in their host country and for meeting the commitments to IFYE they have agreed to.
Honesty is the quality of being truthful and sincere—it is what you say. If people cannot trust what you say, they cannot rely on you. On the other hand, integrity is the quality of doing what is right legally, morally, and ethically all of the time—it is about what you do. Together, they both create credibility that leads to trust as a team member, individual or as a leader.
IFYE as beginning of international experiences
When I began my IFYE adventure, little did I know that this was the beginning of my preparation for future international experience.
My IFYE experience in India opened my eyes and began my awareness of the rest of the world.
It taught me that while we have many things in common with other countries, there are also differences that we need to understand.
Honesty, integrity, and trust
Several years after IFYE, I entered Air Force pilot training, and upon graduation I was assigned to fly fighter aircraft. This began a new phase of my life where honesty and integrity were demanded, and trust was essential to flying operations and mission accomplishment. This was the beginning of a thirty-year career of flying fighters and leading fighter units.
The profession of fighter aviation is a dangerous one that requires absolute trust, precision teamwork and skilled leadership. It requires every member of the team whether aircraft maintainers, munitions loaders or the pilot or many others, to be highly skilled at their job and ready to certify that their part of the pre-mission tasks have been accomplished. The pilot must have absolute trust in aircraft maintenance that the aircraft is mission capable and ready to fly. This is the ultimate in trust because a discrepancy with the aircraft could pose a threat to the pilot’s survival. This trust is ultimately based on team member honesty and integrity.
I have lived and worked in three countries each in Europe and Asia following IFYE and throughout 13 years of a 30-year Air Force career. I have found that honesty, integrity, and trust are valued as essentials of teamwork, personal relationships and leadership in each of those countries. I suspect the same is true in many other countries, as well.
In IFYE or any other organization you may find yourself in, I believe, based on my experience, that honesty, integrity and trust will be the bedrock of the organization.
Robert "Bob" Jenkins
From Virginia to India 1964