Integrity: The Foundation of Leadership

One of the most important keys in life is keeping our word.  Our word can make or break our reputation, our self worth and our overall success.  The formula for success is first to realize that having integrity means that we mean what we say before we say it, while we say it, and after we say it.  The more we follow through with what we say, our sense of value about ourselves goes up, and then others will come to know that they can count on us.  All the things we have ever wanted are truly available to us with integrity.

Let’s look at how our integrity relates to producing results in life.  Some people feel that results are the same as having no results plus a good excuse.  That somehow it’s OK that we don’t follow through with what we said we would do, as long as we have a really good excuse!  Nothing could be further from the truth.  The only thing a good excuse is good for is creating resentment, frustration, and dissatisfaction.  The more we use excuses, the more other people will come to count on us using an excuse vs. producing results.  Know anyone like that in your company?  Do you find YOURSELF using excuses?

If you find you’re going to have a tough time keeping your word, the best time to address it is before you break it.  Letting people in on your process is critical.  People feel valued when you let them know you may have a tough time following through with something on time and need their support.  This is so much better than breaking your word and then having to pick up the pieces later.

If you find that you have indeed broken your word to someone, the best thing to do is to own up to it right away.  Often times we do a lousy job at this.  We make excuses, we get defensive, we blame, we avoid, all to have us look good in the times when we’re out of agreement.  Simply owning up to it can save you tons of time, energy, and frustration.  It may even save the relationship.

Nothing will create distance quicker than saying I am sorry over and over again and continuing to break your word.  People will get that your word means nothing.  If you find you’re doing this, you must look at what will have you keep your word and build the kind of trust, connection and reputation required for you to create an extraordinary company and an extraordinary life. 

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