I was digging through my Evernote writing today, and I came upon my notes from one of John C. Maxwell’s books or audio cassettes and I had to share it. If you want to become a better leader for 2017, then start with integrity and character!

  • genuine integrity is not for sale

    • the need for integrity today is perhaps as great as it has ever been. And it is absolutely essential for anyone who desires to become a person of influence
  • integrity is about the small things

    • one of the realities of life is that if you can’t trust a person at all points, you cannot truly trust him or her at any point
    • integrity is the quality most needed for success in business
    • integrity commits itself to character over personal gain, to people over things, to service over power, to people over convenience, to the long view over the immediate
    • character is not created in a crisis, it only comes to light thenintegrity is an inside job
      • integrity is not determined by circumstances
        • your circumstances are as responsible for your character as a mirror is for your looks. What you see in others only reflects what you are
      • integrity is not based on credentials
          • credentials can never accomplish what character can
        • credentials:
          • Credentials are transient, they turn the focus to rights — they add value to only one person — look to past accomplishments — often evoke jealously in others — can only get you in the door
        • character
          • Character is permanent — keeps the focus on responsibilities — adds value to many people — build a legacy for the future — generates respect and integrity — keeps you there
      • integrity is not to be confused with reputation
        • a good name is more desirable than great riches — a good reputation exists because it is a reflection of a person’s character
        • if a good reputation is like gold, then having integrity is like owning the mine.
        • If I take care of my character, my reputation will take care of itself
      • Questions to help you measure your integrity:

        • how well do I treat people from whom I can gain nothing?
        • Am I transparent with others?
        • do I role-play based on the persons I’m with?
        • am I the same person when I’m in the spotlight as I am alone?
        • do I quickly admit wrongdoing without being pressed to do so?
        • do I put other people ahead of my personal agenda?
        • do I have an unchanging standard for moral decisions, or do circumstances determine my choices?
        • do I make difficult decisions, even when they have personal cost attached to them?
        • when I have something to say about people, do I talk to them or about them?
      • many succeed momentarily by what they know, some succeed temporarily by what they do, but the few succeed permanently by what they are
      • integrity is your best friend
        • no man can, for any considerable time, wear one face to himself and another to the multitudes without finally getting bewildered as to which is the true one.
        • anytime you compromise your integrity, you do yourself an incredible amount of damage
        • integrity will never betray you or put you in a compromising position
        • it keeps your priorities right
        • keeps you from taking shortcuts
        • when others criticize you unfairly, it helps you keep going and take the high road of not striking back. And when others criticism is valid, integrity helps you to accept what they say, learn from it, and keep growing.
      • Integrity is your friend’s best friend
        • a person of integrity influences others because he wants to bring something to the table that will benefit them — not put them on the table to benefit himself
      • the benefit of integrity: trust

        • trust is the single most important factor in personal and professional relationships
        • trust comes from others only when you exemplify solid character
        • character is made in the small moments of our lives
        • you need to develop the following qualities of integrity and live them out every day:
          • model consistency of character — solid trust can develop only when people can trust you all the time. If they never know from moment to moment what you’re going to do, the relationship will never deep into a confident level of trust.
          • Employ honest communication — to be trustworthy, you have to be like a good musical composition; your words and music must match
          • value transparency — people eventually find out about your flaws, even if you try to hide them. But if you’re honest with people and admit your weaknesses, they will appreciate your honesty and integrity. And they will be able to relate to you better.
          • Exemplify humility. — People won’t trust if they see that you are driven by Eagle, jealousy, or the belief that you are better than they are
          • Demonstrate your support of others — nothing develops her displeasure character better than your desire to put others first. As zig zig Lahr says, help enough other people to succeed, and you will succeed also
          • Fulfill your promises — never promised anything you can deliver. And when you say you’ll do something follow through on its. A sure way to break trust with others is to fail to fulfill your commitments
          • Embrace an attitude of service — we have been put on this earth not to be served, but to serve. Giving of yourself and your time to others shows that you care about them.: The service we render to others is really the rent we pay for our room on this earth. People of integrity are givers not takers
          • Encourage two-way participation with the people you influence — when you live a life of integrity, people listen to you and follow you. Always remember that the goal of influence is not manipulation; it’s participation. Only as you include others in your life and success do you permanently succeed.
        • People really know you when they see you interact with a child, when your car has a flat tire, when the boss is away, and when they think no one will ever know.
      • The benefit of trust: influence

        • those who want power probably shouldn’t have it, those who enjoy it probably do so for the wrong reasons, and those who want most to hold on to it, don’t understand that it’s only temporary.
        • Abraham Lincoln said: nearly all men can stand adversity but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power
        • there is but one just use the power and it is to serve people
        • to keep your ambition and check in the focus of your influence on helping and serving others, periodically ask yourself this question: if the whole world followed me, would it be a better world?
      • Become a person of integrity
        • commit yourself to honesty, reliability, and confidentiality
        • decide ahead of time that you don’t have a price tag
        • major in the minor things of life
        • each day, do what you should do before you do what you want to do
          • everybody ought to do at least two things each day that he hates to do, just for the practice
          • slaves is the right term to describe people who lack integrity because they often find themselves at the whim of their own and others’ changing desires
          • it is always easy to do right when you know ahead of time what you stand for

Influence checklist: having integrity with people

  • commit yourself to developing strong character. In the past, have you made it a practice to take full responsibility for your cared for? It’s something that you need to do in order to become a person of influence. Set aside the negative experiences you have had, including difficult circumstances and people who have hurt you. Forget about your credentials or the reputation he built over the years. Strip all that away, and look at what’s left if you don’t see solid integrity in yourself, make the commitment to change today.
  • I commit myself to being a person of character. Truth, reliability, honesty and confidentiality will be the pillars of my life. I will treat others as I expect to be treated. I love according to the highest standards of integrity amid all of life’s circumstances.
  • Do the little things. Spend the next week carefully monitoring your character habits. Take a note of yourself each time you do any of the following: — don’t tell the whole truth — neglect of the Philip commitment, whether it’s promised or implied — even assignment uncompleted — talk about something that you might have been expected to keep in confidence
  • do what you should do before you do what you want. Every day this week, find two items on your to-do list that you should do but that you have been putting off. Complete those testy for doing anything on the list that you enjoy

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