Here is a great article from one of my favorite authors, Brian Tracy. This brief talk on character and integrity was inspiring. I believe that Applying simple yet effective concepts in leadership and personal development over time can have a huge impact on both our personal and professional lives. Enjoy.
Leaders are made, not born. They create and develop themselves by becoming men and women of fine character and integrity.
Earl Nightingale once wrote, “If honesty did not exist, it would have to be invented, as it is the surest way of getting rich.” A study at Harvard University concluded that the most valuable asset that a company has is how it is known to its customers>its reputation, especially for honesty and quality.
The Key To Developing Character
A key to developing integrity and character in yourself is to study men and women of great character. Study the lives and stories of people like George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill, Florence Nightingale, and Susan B. Anthony. Study the people whose strength of character enabled them to change their world.
You can do the same thing they would do. Select someone who you very much admire for their qualities of courage, tenacity, honesty, or wisdom. You will find yourself receiving guidance that enables you to be the very best person that you can possibly be.
There are three areas of your life where acting with integrity is crucial. These are the three areas of greatest temptation for forsaking your integrity, as well as the areas of greatest opportunity for building your integrity.
The first area of integrity has to do with your relationships with your family and your friends, the people close to you. Being true to yourself means living in truth with each person in your life. It means refusing to say or do something that you don’t believe is right. Living in truth with other people means that you refuse to stay in any situation where you are unhappy with the behavior of another person. You refuse to tolerate it. You refuse to compromise.
The second area of integrity has to do with your attitude and behavior toward money. Casualness toward money brings casualties in your financial life. You must be fastidious about your treatment of money, especially other people’s money. You must guard your credit rating the same way you would guard your honor. You must pay your bills punctually, or even early. You must keep your promises with regard to your financial commitments.
The third area of integrity has to do with your commitments to others, especially in your business, your work and your sales activities. Always keep your word. Be a man or a woman of honor. If you say that you will do something, do it. If you make a promise, keep it. If you make a commitment, fulfill it. Be known as the kind of person that can be trusted absolutely, no matter what the circumstances.
Your integrity is manifested in your willingness to adhere to the values you hold most dear. It’s easy to make promises and hard to keep them, but if you do, every single act of integrity will make your character a little stronger.
Here are two steps you can take immediately to put these ideas into action.
First, identify men and women of great character, whom you admire, and read their life stories. Think of how you could apply the lessons they learned to your own life.
Second, keep your word. Keep your promises and commitments. Always do what you say you will do and guard your integrity as a sacred thing.