In life, there are choices we make and habits we form that either produce happiness and success or regret and failure. One such choice is whether to walk with integrity or not. And that choice begins in the smallest of decisions.
Recently, I had an interaction with a business owner that demonstrated this principle of integrity. My HVAC unit at our farmhouse had developed a water leak and while we attempted to fix the problem ourselves, it continued to leak. So I put a call into my HVAC contractor and the office manager, Nancy, setup an appointment for a service call. However, I suggested I would like to text a video of the leak to the owner, Kim, for him to review and Nancy encouraged me to do so. Within 5 minutes of texting the video of the leak, I received a call back with a suggestion from Kim on what I could try to perhaps solve the problem. With the help of our farm foreman, we tried what was suggested and, voila! The problem was fixed.
The response from Kim, the owner of the HVAC company, resulted in a couple hundred dollars of lost revenue. But that decision, while it may seem like a small thing, had the effect of growing his integrity in at least a couple of ways.
While employees are frequently encouraged to increase a company’s revenue, the decision by Kim served as an example to Nancy, his office manager, that there are things that trump revenue or profit. When Kim provided me with the solution to my problem over the phone, he elevated integrity over profit. He communicated to his employees that where you can provide a simple solution that requires little to no effort, then one should do so. Earning a buck is not the supreme or only goal. And so Nancy had that behavior modeled to her by her boss. Can there be any stronger way to teach a value than to live it?
When the solution that Kim provided to me over the phone worked, and he lost a service call in the process, I was convinced that Kim’s company was one that I could trust. Because Kim was willing to give up the service call revenue, and elevate integrity over profit, my confidence in his company skyrocketed. I knew that were he to do any additional work for me in the future, I could trust him without reservation. So his faithfulness in a small issue grew my trust exponentially.
What about you? Are you ever tempted to bypass integrity? Do you ever rationalize small, seemingly insignificant, compromises of truth or honesty? You’ve heard the saying, “Sow a thought and you reap an action, sow an action and you reap a habit; sow a habit and you reap a character; sow a character and you reap a destiny.”
Do you desire a destiny of happiness, success and fulfillment? It begins with integrity in the little things. Commit yourself today to doing so and not only will you be thankful you did, you’ll also be pleased with where you end up.