Doing the Right Thing: Integrity
Doing the right thing is Personal Integrity.
Giving one’s word should be a sacred pact between you and another. Others will trust you only if communicate accurately and actually follow through with what you said. Trust once broken is nearly impossible to restore.
How many times have people told you they would do something but allowed other things to take priority over their word? “Sorry, something else came up.” What does that mean? Satisfying your immediate urge is more important than what you said you would do? That kind of stuff makes us all crazy and destroys belief in an others word.
Unfortunately, what integrity or valor we do see in today’s society is rare. Maybe because our leaders don’t demonstrate the quality some figure it’s OK to be like them. It is the extraordinary exception when people respect what they have said they would do and do it. What does that tell you about that person? Can they be trusted? Does what they say mean anything or are they just saying something to appease?
Have you ever judged another who lies and cheats? Of course you have, we all have. Ones opinion of another person is swayed by how they behave. So, how do you want others to regard you and your word? With respect? With trust? With honor? or With suspicion and skepticism?
Consider the situation when no one else is around to see if you keep a promise. In other words, what if it’s something you’ve promised yourself? Like making so many phone calls for your business, adding to your blog in a timely fashion (I’m guilty of that one), sweeping the dust into the corner or under the rug, speeding down a deserted road. How well do you honor a promise you’ve made to yourself?
What of the employee who helps themselves to some office supplies justifying that the company owes them this little perk? Should the people who caused the housing bubble be held accountable for their actions? Why haven’t they? Where is our national outrage and demand for integrity?
Does a person of honor look the other way when they could be doing the right thing? No!
We’re all human and we’re going to make mistakes. It’s going to happen. What then does a person of integrity do? They clean up their mess by confessing their mistake and remaking or withdrawing their promise. It’s that simple, and so many find it near impossible to do. How simple is it to pick up the telephone (yes we almost all have one in our pocket) and call the party to whom you made a promise and say what’s so? Very simple and very rare.
Here’s a simple formula for maintaining personal integrity:
Keep your commitments and promises on time or don’t make them.
When you have failed to keep a commitment or promise you:
Acknowledge that failure as soon as your realize it
And, clean up any mess you created for those who were counting on your commitments and promises.
Even then people will trust your word, knowing you mean what you say. Oh, and while we’re at it – say what you mean.
Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters.
Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody’s going to know whether you did it or not.
Waste no more time arguing about what a good man should be. Be one.
~Marcus Aurelius, Meditations
I prefer to be true to myself, even at the hazard of incurring the ridicule of others, rather than to be false, and to incur my own abhorrence.
If it is not right do not do it; if it is not true do not say it.
~Marcus Aurelius, Meditations
Live so that when your children think of fairness, caring, and integrity, they think of you.
~H. Jackson Brown, Jr. Bookmark on Delicious Digg this post Recommend on Facebook Share on Linkedin share via Reddit Share with Stumblers Tweet about it Subscribe to the comments on this post Tell a friend Tags: commitment, communication, do the right thing, integrity, personal integrity, promise, workability