Integrity means doing the right thing. It means doing it at all times, in all circumstances, regardless of the fact that someone may or may not be watching.
Success will come and go, but integrity is forever. At my core, I am a teacher. I often wonder about the values that I hoped my students would learn from me and as a mother, that I would pass on to my children. If I could pick only one, that would be it.
It takes courage to do the right thing, no matter the consequences. To build a reputation of integrity takes a very long time, years in fact. But, unfortunately, it takes only a second to lose.
Integrity isn’t talked about nearly enough. Our state of instant gratification and ‘overnight success’ culture has become acceptable.
While it may seem like people can gain power quickly and easily if they cut corners and act without the constraints of morality, dishonesty provides gratification in the moment that will never last. There are many people without integrity who win without getting caught, creating a false perception of the success path that one should follow. However, that momentary result comes at an incredibly high price with far reaching consequences. That person has lost their ability to be trusted as a person of integrity, which is the most valuable quality anyone can have in their life.
Profit in dollars or power is temporary,
but profit in a network of people who trust you as a person of integrity is forever.
Every one person who trusts you will advocate that trust to at least a few of their peeps. Word of your character will spread like wildfire. The value of the trust others have in you is far beyond anything that can be measured. It means having an army of people that are willing to go the extra mile to help you because they know that recommending you to others will never bring damage to their own reputation. The value of the trust others have in you goes beyond anything that can be measured because it brings along with it limitless opportunities and endless possibilities.
A person’s dishonesty will eventually catch up to them.
Avoid people who are not trustworthy. Do a gut check. You’ll get the answer right away. Do not do business with them. Do not associate with them. Do not make excuses for them. If a person cannot be trusted in the simplest matters of honesty, how can they possibly be trusted to uphold business contracts?
Inevitably we become more and more like the people we surround ourselves with. If we surround ourselves with people who are dishonest and willing to cut corners to get ahead, then we’ll surely find ourselves following a pattern of first enduring their behavior, then accepting their behavior, and finally adopting their behavior.
Live so that when your children think of fairness, caring, and integrity, they think of you.
H. J. Brown, JR
Resource: Amy Rees Anderson, Forbes.com
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