Integrity can be defined as “value-based behavior”. Especially in business it is not easy to keep up integrity, as personal values are not always compatible with business decisions and strategy. We cannot think here in pure black and white, sometimes opposite convictions and attitudes collide, which means they are different, but not automatically that one of them is right and one wrong. Integrity would demand to take the consequence, which can mean that the employee should leave the company. Of course challenging, as the individual and its family depend on the salary.
To keep in the personal comfort zone, people are tempted to give up slowly on integrity and dreams, but there are motivating examples which show that integrity and an according behavior leads to success.
The Italian race car and engine designer Carlo Chiti graduated from the University of Pisa with a degree in aeronautical engineering and joined Alfa Romeo still as student in 1952. Here he was responsible for the Disco Volante and the 3000 CM. In ’57 he changed with his fellow engineer and also Pisa graduate Giotto Bizzarrini to Ferrari, where they had the possibility to get in leading positions. Chiti became responsible for the Ferrari F1 156 (also known as “shark nose”, Ferrari’s first middle-engine Formula One car) and Bizzarini worked on the 250 GT and Testa Rossa.
But their relations with Enzo Ferrari not always were easy. Both of them had questioned business decisions taken by him and his wife Laura. In 1961 it should come to an internal management crisis, as together with the long-term sales manager Girolamo Gardini, Chiti and Bizzarrini left the company after several discussions with Enzo Ferrari. They gave him an ultimatum that either his wife Laura should leave the company or they would do. Enzo gave not in to this demand, but stayed consistent and accepted the leave.
Later Chiti and Bizzarrini formed a new company called ATS (Automobili Turismo e Sport) and developed the ATS 2500 GT. The car should only have a minor success, but nevertheless had been important, because its V8 engine became the base for Alfa Romeo’s new engine, which got used in the famous Tipo 33 middle-engine race cars. These cars won twice the World Championship for sports cars and with the 33 Stradale had been also available as a street-car. Even if this Stradale was no commercial success, it became famous for its breath-taking show cars, as the Carabo, Iguana, or P33.
After ATS had to close its doors, Carlo Chiti founded in ’63 another company, this time with Ludovico Chizzola, an Alfa Romeo dealer. Auto Delta should develop, construct and tune racing cars. Three years later Alfa Romeo bought the small, but innovative company and Carlo Chiti had been back at his first employer. This time, he became responsible for the successful prototypes and touring cars. After Alfa Romeo ended its Formula One engagement, Chiti again moved on; left Alfa in 1984 to found Motori Moderni and together with Minardi come back into Formula One. But this is another adventure…
- Henz, Patrick (2016): “Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, Art & History”
- Henz, Patrick (2017): “Business Philosophy according to Enzo Ferrari”