Taking the integrity test

Integrity is one of those personal measures we all aspire to have. For me having gone through some difficult life-changing challenges, such as having a business failure and fired from a high-profile job, I became sensitive to what people were saying. I learned quickly that actions are indeed stronger than words. There is no room for excuses and sugar coating with integrity. We all know that a strong character often comes from life’s tough lessons. When you rise from the ashes you need to ask yourself some very tough questions. Be careful not to play the victim card.

Many of my recent articles came to life from something a friend or colleague said which I found intriguing. This is a joy of being a good listener. Yes. A learned habit. It’s also a trait of someone with Integrity. This article is no different. A close friend was sharing with me why he left his job a while ago. He told me the company did not live up to his moral standards. For me, it was a conversation with a close friend and he said I know you wouldn’t stand for that type of behavior either Paul. You have too much Integrity. Unsolicited praise has such a lasting impression.

I ask if you’re a solo entrepreneur company and you put CEO on your business card are you telling the truth? I believe you are. I do not want to diminish what you do, as many solo entrepreneurs do great work. I ask. Does it suggest you run a larger company? That is where it becomes a grey area. Be assured, integrity does not hang out in grey areas.

One common term we don’t hear as much of as we used to is ” My word is my bond”. Say’s it all, doesn’t it? If we put this into a business perspective people like to deal with people they trust and respect. Trust and respect are both earned. They are a critical part of integrity. Gaining back trust and respect after losing it is one of the toughest things you will ever have to do in your life. It forces you to come clean. To bare all. Fluff is a white substance that lives on top of a cake. We should not let it creep into our everyday lives. If you are broadcasting you are a mentor does it create trust and integrity? I suggest that great mentors attract followers.

Have you taken stock of who you are? Do you think you have integrity? There is only one way to figure that out and that is with a lot of quiet time recalling meaningful conversations. Conversations where a shared mutual respect was expressed aloud. Ask yourself if I were my customer would I buy from me? Life is about who trusts us and not so much about who we trust. If you can honestly say people trust me. If they believe what you say reflects who you are then yes. Congratulations. You qualify.

Wisdom, like integrity, is earned. We will leave the wisdom conversation for another day.