Honesty and integrity are frequently used interchangeably – but these two words have a nuanced, yet important difference.
Honesty deals with the past.
Integrity deals with the future.
HonestyHonesty means making your words fit reality. More specifically, it's speaking the objective truth about the past without any intention to deceive.
For example, George Washington's father asks him, "George, did you cut down that cherry tree?"
"Father, I cannot tell a lie. Yes, I cut that cherry tree," replies George Washington.
In this example, at least according to fable, George Washington's words fit reality; therefore, his response was an honest one.
IntegrityIntegrity means making reality fit your words. Simply put, it means that you do what you say you are going to do.
George Washington's father tells George, "George, as part of your chores, today, I want you to cut down that cherry tree."
George replies, "Yes, father, I shall cut down that cherry tree."
At the end of the day if George has cut down the tree then he had the integrity to make it happen. In other words, he got results. Integrity is the ability to do what you say you're going to do. It's about executing on your plan.