One of our core values at MI is Integrity.
While we might debate what exactly this means and in which context- family, business, friendships – the fact remains that truth always stands on its own. I was reminded of this recently when I visited the old lead mines of the Yorkshire Dales in the UK. Lead has been mined there since the days of the Roman Emperors, until the early 20th century. The last mine closed in 1912.
Even if it is hidden under a lead container, truth is like cork, and no amount of weight will hold it down. When the container is turned over that cork will immediately bob to the surface to be seen by everyone.
Rather than trying to hide it or suppress the truth by shading it in one way or another, choose the path of integrity and speak it daily right at the beginning of a conversation, a project, or when you want a new beginning. You’ll be far better off in the long run than trying to hide it even under tons of lead in the deepest of oceans.
We are all tempted to not speak the truth, or shade it, especially when we are dealing with our own strengths and weaknesses. We embellish our strengths and cover our weaknesses. We are all afraid of our weaknesses and we may either deny them completely, or brush them aside. Inevitably doing so derails our moral character and when discovered, causes our strengths to be viewed less positively.
It is important for us to work hard on our weaknesses as they matter to our quality of living and interacting with our work and families. If we truthfully channel time, energy and resources into personal improvement then our lives will blossom and invigorate us to greater effectiveness.
If, as leaders, we require the truth from those we lead then we must example that personally. We must allow them to hold our feet to the fire in the same level of accountability as we require of them. Yes, it may be very hard and difficult conversations may need to be engaged but the final result is peace in life, our own and those we lead. Peace in life is not trying to hide the truth.
The Truth ALWAYS stands on its own.