What would you do? You have agreed to work with a non-profit organization pro bono on October 4th. A couple of weeks later, a well paying client has called and asked you to facilitate a workshop on October 4th. Work for free or get paid well for your time? What would you do?
When I was in college, our housing unit held an annual Rose Dance. Every young woman who was invited to the dance received a rose with her invitation and then a dozen roses at the dance. It was a black tie affair complete with a nice sit-down-dinner and dancing with a live band. I invited a young woman eight weeks before the dance. About two weeks before the dance she called and asked if I could find someone else to take to the Rose Dance because she had gotten an invitation to attend the Kentucky Derby. What would you do?
I was disappointed and decided it was too late to ask another date. A couple of weeks later I ran into her. She mentioned she was disappointed I hadn't called her for a date. I recognized she was like the chicken in the plate of bacon and eggs - involved but not committed. The situation re-taught me the value of the Golden Rule. I promised myself I would not do that to someone else.
The first scenario, work with the non-profit pro bono or cancel with the non-profit and get paid by a client, was a situation I was faced with a couple of years ago. I kept my promise to work with the non-profit group.
I was like the pig on the plate of bacon and eggs - I was committed! It's not enough to say you have integrity until you actually walk-your-talk.
Our actions always speak louder than our words and our promises. People forget our words and promises, but always remember our actions. It becomes our character and reputation.
Here is what I know for sure. When you act with integrity, positive things happen. It turned out a participant at that non-profit retreat liked my work and hired and paid me to facilitate a retreat for her business!
Unfortunately, we are wired to live in the short-run, get what you can at the moment in hand. Integrity gives you self-discipline and self-control to live for the long-run.
Integrity is not one and done. It's a way of being that continues to be challenged on a daily basis. Having integrity is one thing, continuously living integrity is another. Integrity is the Golden Rule.
Choose to be a pig on the plate of bacon and eggs!