Monday, May 2, 2011

Keys to Success: Integrity

In this six week series, each Monday, we'll be exploring what it takes to succeed.

I volunteer and I had the opportunity to talk to some teenagers. I mentioned the word ‘integrity’ and most of the junior and senior high school students had no idea what I was talking about. It was scary and it was sad. To me, integrity is critical in success, but on a larger scale, it’s critical to just being a decent person.

The dictionary says it’s adherence to moral principles or honesty, trust. I agree with that but in practice I’d take it one step further. Basically, you do what you say you’re going to do when you say you are going to do it. If you can’t, you own up to it. You don’t cover up your mistakes. You don’t point the finger of blame. You are, to go back to the definition, honest.

In retrospect, it isn’t surprising that kids aren’t that familiar with integrity. As adults, a lot of us aren’t too good at acting with integrity either. We complain and blame. We sometimes trade honesty for expediency and the right thing for the more lucrative thing.

Kids see what we do and we pay for the consequences of what we do in one way or the other.

If you want to be successful, then you want to be a person people can count on. You want to be the person who does exactly what they say they will do. As a parent, as a worker, as a business owner, you build relationships by being a people person but also by having integrity.

A people person with no integrity is a scam artist.
A people person with integrity is unstoppable.

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