How important is it that you, personally, say what you mean and mean what you say? Have you really thought about that before? I guarantee that others do, especially if you have ever not said what you meant and meant what you said. It casts a shadow over our reputation at the very least.
Let’s look at it from the other side. How much time or trust would you give a person that sometimes told you things they didn’t mean or didn’t do things they said they would? It would be hard to, wouldn’t it? Why invest your time, effort and trust in someone that has proven they can’t or won’t deliver on what they say? There’s not really a high level of trust, is there?
Guess what? That works both ways. It only takes a very few times (often only one) for others to lose trust and faith in your word. If you want trust and the esteem of others, you MUST have integrity. It is the key to trust and is the foundation to having good relationships and being a leader. You can’t lead if people won’t follow. That includes business associates family and friends.
A person of integrity is a rare occurrence in some circles which is a shame. All around us we see examples of people of power and influence in all walks of life that have little to no integrity. The only thing we can truly trust them to do is act in their own self-interest no matter what they say.
This social and political environment creates a culture of cynicism, distrust and broken promises. This environment makes it more difficult to achieve what you want because others are not so quick to believe and trust you. What that does is make you prove your integrity before trust is given.
In other words, you have only one shot to make not only a first impression, but any kind of positive impact. In your relationships you must take care to impress upon people that you care about them, their problems and helping them find solutions.
That is really the only recipe for real, long-term success in life anyway. It always has been too. No matter how you define it, success comes from providing some kind of value to others. The opportunity to provide that value is where we prove our integrity and trustworthiness to others.
Once we have proved it, we can then build a relationship that is beneficial to both parties. This is the definition of commerce, value for value. And it is also the definition of being a decent human being.