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Have We Lost Integrity in America?

This is the first non business related post I've penned in a very long time and perhaps it's due to being a matured father to a seventeen year old girl who's facing important decisions in her life like college, her job, internships or maybe just reflecting on a random Wednesday night. The word, integrity, has been dancing around in my head for a while now so I thought I'd get out some thoughts here.

Integrity is defined as the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness. I didn't have much integrity when I was younger but as I've lived through various succesful and also stressful stages of my life it's been something I've worked hard on. I've also been on the receiving end of relationships where the other person had little or no integrity. Actually, it's a major focus of mine almost constantly throughout my personal and work day. If I tell someone I'll have them a document by the end of the day I will do so only if I know full well I can deliver. I actually keep a notebook with me, write the task to do and asterisks it which is my personal code to tell me that the task has to be done in a certain period of time. If I know I'm busy and won't be able to get said document out for a few days I will tell the person they'll have it within a week and this way I can overdeliver. The bottom line is I deliver on what I tell them. I also think the city I live in, Miami, has people with less integrity than other cities and this has been reaffirmed by others whom I know. I do believe, and generalizing here, that other cities don't face this as often as we do. Being in business development having integrity and strong morals is something that has to be proven and once people see that you deliver and live up to your word then they feel more confident doing business with you.

What do you think? Have we lost a sense of integrity in America? How are our children being taught this in schools and at home? I taught my daughter this valuable lesson recently as she was contemplating a situation where she promised someone at work something only to want to go back on her word when another better opportunity arose. I used it as a teaching moment which she understood and then she went on to fulfill her initial promise even though it meant missing out on something more fun. Score one for Dad!

Like many of life's lessons and to steal a quote from Jocko, simple but not easy! My goal is to not waiver and give into a shallow, selfish environment but to continually work on improving integrity in my life and hope to inspire others to do the same.

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