Integrity: Doing What Is Right

IntegrityOver the Memorial Holiday my family traveled to Florida.  During our trip we stopped at a Chick-Fil-A in Tifton, Georgia for dinner.  This Chick-Fil-A, like most, was very busy.  As I waited in line I observed a teenage young lady making her rounds to customers at each table.  She would engage in small talk as she cleared used napkins and empty food containers.  It was obvious from her interactions with the families this was not her first visit to their table.  I continued to watch this young lady as she went about her work with a smile enjoying her time with each customer.  As one of the families was preparing to leave a father said thank you for her great service and placed some folded bills in her hand.  She looked down and immediately handed the money back.  “Sir thank you but I cannot accept this.  It was my pleasure to serve you today.” she said with a big smile.    The father stated, “No, I want you to have this. You did not have to treat us the way you did.”  The young lady repeated herself, “No Sir, it was my pleasure to serve you and I cannot accept this.”  I am sure that Chick-fil-a has a policy against accepting tips from customers.  Since there was not another employee around she could have easily taken the cash and said thank you.  However, her integrity would not allow her to do so.

As a leader there is not always a clear-cut answer to every question.  There will be decision points that will cause you great stress.  Every decision you make will testify to your level of integrity.  In the story above the young lady made an immediate correct decision.  There may be times that your immediate decision is wrong.  If you make a wrong decision, go back and correct it.  It can be very difficult, even embarrassing, to admit you made a bad decision, but those around you will gain the utmost respect when you admit you were wrong and make it right. 

Integrity is about doing what is right.  When you find yourself thinking through an important decision, contemplate how you want others to see your integrity.  As a leader what example do you want to set?  Ask yourself if you would be proud if your action was videotaped and played during a company meeting.  Consistently having integrity is no easy feat but it is a rewarding one!

About Kareem Slater

Kareem Slater is a leadership coach, trainer, & speaker. Founder of The Purple Approach. Helps organizations lead and engage their team by focusing on their Mission Statement and Core Values. Uses his passion to help others grow their leadership skills and accomplish their career goals.

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