Your Integrity Is Your Choice
What are you going to choose? Your Integrity or something less?
During my early years as a sales leader, I operated in ethical gray areas. I even encouraged my team to operate there as well. Even though we had the core value of Integrity hanging on our walls, the gray areas had become our norm. It was part of our culture—and that was my fault.
At one point in my life, I made the distinct choice that I was no longer going to work from ethical gray areas. I shared this with my team and apologized to them. I asked them to forgive me for putting them in a position which would cause them to sacrifice their personal Integrity. I promised them I would no longer support the gray areas. I would no longer answer their tough ethical dilemmas with a wishy-washy reply based on situational ethics. My answers would be a simple “Yes” or “No.”
Three years later, I moved to Texas and worked with another team. A tenured team member shared with me how he was unsure about the person who had been named to take my place. I explained to him it would be a good learning experience for him to have two different leaders. It would provide solid, varying examples since he desired a management role in our company someday.
That is when he taught me an important lesson. He said to me:
“I already had two leaders. I had Dave Anderson #1 for the first 2 years and Dave Anderson 2.0 for the last 3 years. The day you walked in and told us ‘No more gray areas’ was the day we knew we could trust you. That was when we knew you would always have our backs.”