Can Integrity be Congruent with Imperfection?

Operating with integrity at all times is challenging but it is a worthy goal. Considering the fact that perfection is not a human trait, how can we really claim to have integrity when we cannot be perfect no matter how much or how hard we try?

Maybe those words (integrity, perfection) are just words and what truly makes a difference is how we live our daily lives. Words have different meanings depending on who uses them, based on their life experiences and their belief system and core values. Those are shaped through years of exposure to a multitude of life experience interpreted via the lenses of positive, negative or neutral from the perspective of the one living the experience. 

Integrity is one of my core values. But can I really have integrity when I am inherently not perfect? Is there any congruence in that? Can integrity be congruent with imperfection?

I am so glad it does not have to be. Or does it?

It’s Never Who You Know

Jack is a skilled technician who always delivers above expectations and has 10 clients who know him and would never hesitate to refer him for work.

Joe is a talented artist who knows 100 people who have admired his work but have never bought his work. He has their business cards and he regularly comes across them in the galleries and artists meetups he attends.

Who would you rather be, Jack or Joe? 

To succeed in business, and in life, you must be a Jack, not a Joe. It is never who you know, it is always who knows you and who can vouch for you and the quality of your work. Quality has more value than quantity. Become a master at your craft and you will not have to worry about who you know, because who knows you will regularly bring you business.

Could Your Work Be Your Calling Card?

What do you do for work? Would you still be doing that for work if there was no extrinsic (ie. financial) reward? How well do you do your work, and how much better could you do your work? When was the last time you assessed your efficiency and effectiveness at the work you do?

To work is to function or operate according to design or plan. Assuming you know what you were designed for and you have a plan to operate in alignment with that design, could your work be your calling card?

Are you so proficient at your work that people who are exposed to your craft can recall days, weeks and years later an interaction with you?

Could your work be your calling card?

Are You a Jane?

Jane shows up late at every appointment. Regardless of who she work with or what she works on, it seems that she makes a conscious effort to be late. But she is not all bad. Sometimes when she would be more than 10 minutes late, she would call ahead to inform her colleagues.

Jane has developed a reputation among the people she works with as “the one who is always late.” In addition to being late, Jane is not the best at the work she does. She is just average and even though she does her best, it just does not do it for the people she works with.

What are you know as by people who work with you? Are you “the one who always shows up ahead of time,” or are you a Jane?

“The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential… these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence.” Confucius

Are You Trainable?

If you have ever hired anyone or being part of a hiring panel, you know that one of the most important elements that determines whether someone is picked over another is trainability.

Beyond the appropriate skills and knowledge for the job at hand someone has at any point in time, trainability is what employers want above anything else. Being flexible, being able to adapt, being able to learn challenging concepts while keeping a positive attitude, are invaluable skills.

More than 10 years ago I attended a resume building workshop and the lead trainer who was an HR Director for a medium sized business said: “We always hire for attitude and fire for inaptitude.” What he was effectively saying was that it is easy to get hired if you have a positive and enthusiastic attitude, but over time, your ability to adapt, learn and grow is what is going to determine whether you stay, and how high you rise.