What separates the “good” from the “bad and the ugly?” Most of the time it’s one trait – INTEGRITY. I’ve met people who were never brought up to embrace this characteristic. They are also not fond of admitting that they don’t possess it or its significance. It’s the thing that lets you sleep at night, that attracts the right kind of client, employee, spouse, friends. It should be demanded in a relationship of any type. If it is absent, you need to remove yourself from the relationship or you will always be watching your back for the “short cuts” taken in every area by that person or company.
“The truly scary thing about undiscovered lies is that they have a greater capacity to diminish us than exposed ones. They erode our strength, our self-esteem, our very foundation.”
― Cheryl Hughes
Dealing with people who lack integrity is exhausting. If you are one of those who lack integrity, YOU are exhausting because there is no consistency in your behavior other than the fact it will always be the easy, self-serving way. People without integrity only seem to know how to take, and eventually the relationship, be it business or personal, withers.
At the other end are those people that almost shine with integrity. You can count on everything they say as true. You know they won’t take the short cut, even at their own expense. These are not the people who figure you can download a song from iTunes to use at the corporate presentation because it’s a private meeting with only 300 sales people – and ‘Who would know?’ True integrity runs deep in people.
“Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody’s
going to know whether you did it or not.”
― Oprah Winfrey
When I think of the characteristic that attracted me most to my husband, it was that he reminded me of ALL of my brothers. His humor, his devotion, certainly – but what stood out the most was his LOUD integrity. I aspire to be as honest as he is in every part of his life. I count on it.
One of my early work experiences was serving at a restaurant as a teen. What was remarkable about this experience was that there was never worry about stolen tips, hijacked “good tables,” or quietly traded shifts. It was all in the open. None of us from the manager to the dishwasher would ever think to do anything less than honest to each other. We were all raised with that beautiful trait of integrity. That says a lot when you are talking about over 100 people from different backgrounds, generations and socio-economic statuses. Integrity was a straight line we could count on though all of those variables.
The most honorable man I worked for ingrained in all of us by example his devotion to truth, honest work, standing by your work – the good, the bad, and admitting when you made a mistake. Integrity.