A few weeks ago I talked about how to get Finally Un-Stuck – remember?
“People who are stuck often face some kind of big decision or life change. And they torment themselves with, ‘Is this the right choice? What if I make a mistake?’ That is the stuck place. Can’t move forward for fear of doing something wrong, and can’t go back due to the space-time continuum, so… stay stuck. There’s only one way to break through the muck and get un-stuck. And that is to reframe the question from, ‘Is this the right choice?’ to ‘Am I choosing growth?'”
So, we choose growth, and get un-stuck. But there’s something else – something vital – to factor into your decision-making.
It’s called integrity.
To me, integrity means I’m not going to lie, I’m not going to cheat, I’m not going to take advantage of anyone, I’m not going to allow anyone to take advantage of me. I will say what I mean, and mean what I say. I will do what I’ve promised to do.
You may have other elements surrounding your personal integrity – but if you don’t, now’s the time to get clear on them, pardner.
Because when you choose growth within the framework of integrity – there is no way you can make a mistake.
Want an example? Okie doke. Tom is offered a job working for his company’s biggest competitor and marketplace rival. It’s a big leadership job, and it feels like growth to Tom – exactly the kind of step up he’s been looking for. The new company promises him a signing bonus (asks him to keep quiet about it) and then kinda asks if he can bring over his files on a particular innovation Tom has been overseeing at the old company.
Now, some people would say, “Sure, that’s the way the game is played. He should absolutely bring everything to his new employer! What are you, Michele? Some kinda dope? This happens all the time.”
Ah, yes, grasshopper, it does happen all the time. Especially with people who have lost touch with their own integrity. And that’s why this is such an important moment for Tom – he can choose a new opportunity where he knows his integrity will be challenged, or say no and preserve something important to him.
I’m going to humor those who say, “Take the money and run, Tom!” Let’s say he chooses to take the new job. A year later, where’s Tom? Unhappy, compromised, constantly fudging the facts and lying to his team. He’s miserable. And his former colleagues? He’s lost them – they’re still smarting from his conduct as he walked out the door. Day to day, he’s struggling with the consequence of abandoning something really important to him – his integrity. It’s crushing stress.
I’ve seen this sad scenario play out hundreds of times.
Remember this line from above? When you choose growth within the framework of integrity – there is no way you can make a mistake.
Well here’s the corollary: Any opportunity that asks you to put your integrity aside is most assuredly not a growth opportunity – and ultimately will be a mistake.
There’s a lot written these days about “Your Personal Brand” -hey, I’ve even written about it:
Any of us can convince ourselves that nearly anything is a growth experience. The gut check, then, is seeing where the new opportunity lines up with your integrity. When you can grow while preserving your integrity, you are, indeed, making the absolute right choice.