[This post is part of a series on “Mental models and beliefs: an exercise to identify yours.” If you don’t see a Table of Contents to the left, click here to view the series, where you’ll get more value than reading just this post.]
Do you rank integrity as one of your highest values? How much integrity do you have?
Today’s model hit me one day accidentally, but since it did, I’ve held it closely.
One day after talking to someone I got into an elevator alone. As I did I noticed I slouched because no one was there. Rather I didn’t do it for a reason, I just did, subconsciously thinking it didn’t matter because no one could see.
Then for some reason it occurred to me it did matter. Even if no one could see, I could. And my behavior then would influence my behavior elsewhere.
A model for integrity: It matters even when no one can see
Slouching in an elevator may seem trivial, but I immediately applied the same thinking to all my behavior. I realized my behavior matters all the time, no matter who sees it or not.
I see behaving consistently with your values even when no one else can see basically the core of integrity. It leads you to understand your values better so you know how to behave. It reinforces your values. It also adds accountability because people see your values all the time.
When I use this belief
I use this belief all the time. That’s the point of it.
What this belief replaces
This belief replaces thinking you can get away with cutting corners or that what others don’t know but you do doesn’t matter.
Where this belief leads
This belief leads to living a life with more integrity.
Learn to make Meaningful Connections
with a simple, effective exercise from my book, Leadership Step by Step.
- Step by step instructions
- Video examples of me and Marshall Goldsmith
- An excerpt from my book