Mr. Smith on learning and modeling integrity
Where does one’s integrity come from?
For Compco’s Chairman Emeritus, the answer is pretty simple. Mr. Smith got his sense of integrity from his parents.
“My mother, Lottie Virginia Smith, was highly religious,” Mr. Smith explains. “I was the last of the children and she wasn’t very healthy after I came along, so I spent a lot of time with her. She would go to the church and do work and I was with her a lot.”
And the values Mr. Smith’s mother began instilling in him during those long hours at church were reinforced at home as he spent time with his father—Compco’s founder Clarence R. Smith, Sr.
“My parents were sincere people. They were closely knit together and integrity was important to them,” Mr. Smith recalls.
And now, in his 90’s and decades removed from the tutelage of his parents, Mr. Smith continues to hold integrity dear. He strived to be an example of it for his children, his family and his employees, who he openly regards as extended family.
With age and life’s experience came wisdom… and an interesting realization about why integrity matters. Convention says integrity binds us together as an organization because it allows us to trust each other to do the right thing… even when no one is looking.
However, Mr. Smith found another benefit; Stability. As a committed family man, Mr. Smith places high value on stability. Integrity-built stability protected his own 69-year-long marriage to Mrs. Smith and, he feels, it enhances the lives of everyone in the Compco family. “I like to encourage stability with all the families in my shop. You need to make family “first.” If I want it for my home, I want it for my shop.”
Read more from the June 2019 Compco Connection Newsletter