Our Values: Living with Integrity

Several years ago I happened upon a grassroots movement called “Because I Said I Would.” It was founded by a young man named Alex Sheen as a way to honor his father who passed away from cancer. Alex described his dad as “average and everyday;” but, he said there was one thing he did exceptionally well. “He kept his promises. My father was a man of his word.”

By my definition this is the essence of integrity. If you say you are going to do something, you do it. If you commit to showing up, you show up. Words and actions are aligned and everyone knows what they can expect from you. Integrity is the place where trust is built. It’s fragile – strengthened by honoring our commitments or chipped away one broken promise at a time.

Living with integrity sounds like a simple thing but we all know it is not. Our values are constantly being challenged. If we are not paying attention, we can find ourselves adrift and questioning our truth.

When that happens to me I know it’s time to take a deep breath, go within, and remember what is important to me. Getting back to basics helps too. I show up for the event even if I might not want to go. I meet the deadline even if it requires working late. I return the phone call even when the conversation is difficult. Why? Because I said I would.