By M. Lynn Griffin
When you tell someone you’ll call them back, do you actually do it? When you tell someone you’ll be over to help them move, do you show up? How about when you borrow money from a friend or relative and you promise to pay them back on payday or when you get your taxes, do you actually repay it? If you don’t call like you said you would, don’t show up at all, or suddenly can’t be found on payday or at tax time, you are lacking integrity.
Integrity is “the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles”. Telling the truth; keeping your word; doing the right thing; being fair and respectful—these are only a few examples of having integrity. You get back (from others) what you put out.
Consider it this way—integrity breeds trust. Sure, we have all fallen short of this at times; besides, things can happen in the blink of an eye to prevent us from following through. We might end up a little late, but we should immediately explain what prevented us from doing what we said. The key is to not make a habit of it. Remember, integrity breeds trust. You don’t keep your word, you don’t show up, you don’t do the right thing, no one is going to trust you. In fact, word will spread like wildfire about how untrustworthy you are.
It’s not uncommon for a lack of integrity to also be evident in the workplace where the consequences can be more detrimental because it can affect you financially. Lying on a job application. Lying to your boss. Lying on your co-workers. “Borrowing” office supplies to use outside the workplace—don’t raise your hand if you’ve ever done this.
One of my biggest pet peeves is someone lying to me. What is the point of being dishonest? History has shown that you will get found out; not to mention the fact that you will have to tell more lies in order to cover the first one. Can you imagine being such a chronic liar that you can no longer distinguish a lie from the truth? Life is too short to waste precious time lying and covering it up.
What legacy do you want to leave? One where you are described as trustworthy, or one where you are described as untrustworthy? The next time you’re tempted to not show up, lie, cheat or steal, think about the level of integrity you are getting ready to reveal.
M. Lynn Griffin is a full-time employee and business owner residing in Michigan’s capital city of Lansing along with her two sons. Her background is in organizing and event planning but has now added writing to the mix. She loves spending time with family and friends as well as travelling, reading and making people laugh with her quirky sense of humor. She is the author of the soon to be released book “I Stayed Too Long”.