I behaved poorly at work today and tried to cut a corner. Have any of you ever done that? For the sake of time and frankly, after being bored of a conversation and eager to get back to the task at hand, I said something I shouldn’t have regarding circumventing a process. Thankfully, the person I was working with had integrity, and went another way. After the conversation, I was left feeling pretty disappointed with myself. How could I do that? I write a blog about championing administrators and here I was giving them a bad name.
The good news is, this misstep doesn’t define me. I was able to recognize my flaw, show gratitude for my colleague for her behavior, and use this instance as a lesson. I recently read a tweet from Adam Grant about not letting your mistakes define you . What an important message to know. It provides us with an escape route from a poor decision, and an opportunity to do better the next time.
Disclaimer; this only works if you are able to recognize and learn from the mistake. Had I just chocked my lapse in judgement to stress, I would not be sitting here writing this blog. I likely would have continued to behave in my ego, made more bad decisions, and jeopardized my relationships with my co-workers. Further down the road, I would start to lose trust and not be able to lead effectively.
I have found that looking inward first, before attributing fault to something external makes me a great leader. It is kind of like seeking first to understand and then being understood for myself (Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is marvelous). If I can’t understand where my motivations lie, how can I expect anything from others?
Integrity goes hand and hand with humility in leadership. These two character attributes provide the foundation for trust and understanding to be built in organizations. When faced with challenges, I come back to integrity and humility and ground myself there. I have found that when I am leading from this honest place, I cannot go wrong.
Challenge yourself to behave with ever increasing integrity at work. I would love to hear how it works for you. Drop me a comment.