How about those political conventions?!?!? Nah…I’m not even going to go there.
However, slightly related to the conventions, I have been thinking a lot about integrity and commitments. Not just because it is a huge part of what we do at LeaderShape, but because I feel like I have not been doing it well lately. Have any of you felt the same from time to time?
For a while now, it feels like I might as well have been saying, “I’m committed…(as long as nothing else comes my way that needs me more, makes it easier to make a decision, keeps me from feeling pain, or gets me off the hook.)” In other words, I have been putting qualifiers on my commitments making them not really commitments, but rather wishes or hopes.
Declaring that you are committed means nothing if you continue to wiggle out of those commitments, tell lies no matter that they are small, or become vague so that you can’t be held accountable for your actions. Making a commitment is not something you work toward. It is something that you decide immediately. And then you do it. I think we all know this intuitively, but life happens and our decision making muscles become weak because we are making so many decisions every day.
Because life is spinning by so fast, I think the secret to making strong commitments that build your integrity and character is to slow down and be present. When we are bombarded by the activities of the day, it is really easy to make poor decisions or decisions that are easy and not necessarily the right decisions. I recommend following the Josephson Institute of Ethics “Seven-Step Path to Better Decisions” because the first one is to stop and think. Pause to evaluate and understand what is at stake when you decide to be held to a higher standard. The other six are helpful as well: clarify goals, determine facts, develop options, consider consequences, choose, and, monitor and modify. Definitely worth remembering.
Commitment is something not to be taken lightly. Commitment is your word. You decide and then there is no going back. You do it because your word means something. So, personally, I obeyed the speed limit today (don’t laugh). I didn’t say I was in a meeting when I didn’t want to speak to the person calling the office. I’m trying to get back on track by focusing on the little things.
The little things are how you build your character, your integrity, your commitment.
And those are not so little.
Paul is the President of LeaderShape and pinches himself everyday for that opportunity. He is a father, son, husband, athlete, avid reader, eternal optimist, and sucker for the underdog.