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10 Integrity Tests You Face in Your 20’s?

Your 20’s = New Responsibilities and New Freedoms

“This younger generation:

  • doesn’t have any work ethic.”

  • has no sense of responsibility.”

  • is never going to be ready to lead.”

Said every generation about the generations that come after them. The Greatest Generation said it about the Boomers. The Boomers about Gen X. Gen X about Millennials and Gen Z. The problem is not the generations, it is the age. Being in your twenties and straight out of school, in a new job with new responsibilities, is hard.

I challenge all of us with gray or graying hair to give the twenty somethings around them a break! Remember when you were in your twenties. That was a time where you never had more freedom and also gained more responsibilities simultaneously. When freedom and responsibilities ramp up at the same time, your Integrity is going to get tested. How you pass those tests determines who you become – a Leader of Character or something less.

The tests are everyday in your twenties. They come at work and in your free time. They come with friends and with families. Here are 10 Integrity Tests you face in your twenties:

  1. When commitments to work interfere with commitments to friends.

  2. When what you want to do does not align with what you should do at work.

  3. When your boss asks you for honest feedback.

  4. When you say “Yes” to helping someone move, and then they tell you it’s at 7am Saturday.

  5. When you tell your parents you’ll call them, and then forget.

  6. When you see something that needs to be done, but you were just leaving the office.

  7. When your friend at work lies to coworkers about why they missed a deadline.

  8. When you miss a deadline because you forgot about the task.

  9. When a customer wants you to change the date on an invoice “for accounting purposes”.

  10. When your younger siblings ask you to buy them alcohol, but they are not 21 yet.

Some of these tests may seem larger than others, but don’t be fooled. They are all significant. The way we handle these tests shape who we become. Are we becoming a person of Integrity or something less? When you choose something less today, you are setting yourself up for compromising your Integrity later.

Habits are formed one choice at a time. Each time we make a choice, it will be easier to make that same choice again. In your twenties, you have a ton of choices facing you. No matter what you choose – Integrity or Hypocrisy – it will get stronger and become more a part of who you are.

I want to encourage you if you are at the front end of your career and looking at the avalanche of freedom and responsibility coming at you – that you are not alone. The previous generations dealt with the same things. Some of us did better than others. But now it is your turn to choose between exercising Integrity today or risk becoming someone who talks about Integrity but doesn’t really exercise it.


  • Which of the 10 Integrity Tests have you faced recently?

  • What did you choose, Integrity or something else?

  • Why do you think the smaller choices of today will impact your choices in the future?


“Would you follow you?” That is a critical question we all need to ask ourselves if we want to become Leaders of Character. Research has proven that people want to follow character. But where is your character today? Here is a quick assessment that will take you 5 minutes to figure it out. Nobody will ever see your results but you. Warning: If you are not going to be honest with yourself this is a worthless assessment.

To take the assessment use the QR code above or go to

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