When we think of someone with integrity, we think of someone we can count on to come through on what they promise. Unfortunately, that’s not always a safe bet today.
Over the last several years I’ve noticed a change in the way we use the word integrity. The word used to mean staying true to your word—even if it’s difficult, inconvenient, or expensive. But today I hear more and more people using the word as if it means being true to themselves—even if that means leaving someone else to clean up the mess.
This might look like a win if we’re trying to save ourselves from difficulty and discomfort, but it will come back to bite us in the end. Nothing destroys our credibility faster than bailing on a commitment.
Why is integrity so important?
- Trust depends on integrity. If people can’t rely on your word, they won’t trust you. They may extend some grace, but eventually, people will doubt and disbelieve.
- Influence depends on trust. People will refuse the influence of leaders they distrust. Just look at how this plays out in politics or the media. We follow people we trust.
- Impact depends on influence. You can’t make the impact you want unless you can influence others and shift their behavior.
Now think of other relationships: marriage, parenting, church, whatever. The strength of our relationships is measured by how much people can count on us. If we’re not true to our words, that means our relationships will be as unreliable as we are.
“The strength of our relationships is measured by how much people can count on us.” – Michael Hyatt, Author