“There is no such thing as a minor lapse in integrity.”
There’s an idea that you can teach someone almost anything but there are some things that a person either has or not. Whether you are talking about the qualities you determine are must haves for your next new employee or the people you let into your personal circle, you have standards. They may be unsaid and even unexamined but we all have them.
A sense of humor is awesome but it’s not a deal breaker in my book. Discovering someone you work with or let into your circle lacks something like integrity or ethics can catch you off guard. Chances are it’s a pattern– even if it’s the first time you are seeing it. How someone behaves after they make a mistake is telling.
You can teach some things and yes, people can change. I very publicly declared that I would never eat sushi. I can’t get enough of it now. I’m a sushi convert and actively try to convert other public declarers that it deserves a chance. You can’t necessarily teach someone to be trustworthy. The sushi switch isn’t that easy to flip on trust.
The thing about integrity is that it’s not always popular or appreciated. True acts of integrity take courage. Mistakes are inevitable. I’ve worked with some great people in my career and the ones I’ve admired the most were beautifully flawed. Here are some things I noticed they all did when faced with a mistake of their own doing.
- They admitted they made a mistake early on. They were focused on correcting the situation. They were not without ego or pride but their concern was more for fixing the issue and they knew that buying time or hiding it wasn’t in anyone’s best interest.
- They took personal responsibility for mistake.
- They learn from it– they know that the real mistake is unnecessary repeat failure. They take it even further and share their learning with others who might benefit from the experience without having to feel the pain firsthand.
- They move on. This one took me the longest to get comfortable with. I was harder on myself than anyone else. If you spend time beating yourself up you are taking valuable energy and resources away from the great things you are certain to do!
We’re well into the first month of the new year. Take some time to examine the price of admission to your world– and eat sushi. Eat lots of sushi!