by Karthik Gurumurthy
Couple of months back, I drove to San Jose to show the business marketing plan to few of my prospects who live in the bay area. Irvine to Fremont is about 390 miles.. very long. As long as the weather is ok I really enjoy these drives. They give me time to think… and do I ever think:) I take this time to reflect and take a mental inventory of my life. Where I have been, where I am and most importantly where I want to go.
During my very long drive I try and use the time to better myself. I am a firm believer in always trying to improve the leader that I am. I read many books on leadership and success, because of my business I am able to hear many different speakers and listen to many different messages.
I picked up my CD case consisting of about 25 CDs. During my drive back and forth I listened to about 12 CD’s, 10 different speakers, different approaches to leadership. They all talked about one common characteristic of any successful leader… any long term leader. Can you guess what it was? Integrity… the ability to be honest and sincere. To have the ability to follow through and stand up for your beliefs…. integrity.
Earlier in the day I was listening to one CD by Joel Osteen and he was sharing about a recently released study that said the average person will lie 3 times every ten minutes. That is 18 times and hour, that is 252 times per day (based on being awake for 14 hours), that is an alarming 91,980 times a year… almost 100,000 times per year we are dishonest, we lack integrity. Here is the most alarming number… if you live for 80 years and we take out the first five years of your life, you will lie… are you sitting down… 8,898,500 times. That is almost NINE MILLION times in our life.
Now you might say… not me, I don’t lie… ever! Really? Are you sure? This study included those little white lies, lies to “save” people’s feelings, lies to get ahead, lies to look better at an interview or on an application. Lies that may “impress” a girl or a guy, lies to embellish accomplishments or simply to “fit in”. That doesn’t even include blatant hurtful lies.
Take one day… someday soon and make a list of every time you may have lied… even the little tiny ones. Can you stop? Did you really need to? Let’s all try and lead with integrity!
My dad always used to quote Mark Twain who said…
“If you are always honest, you have nothing to remember.”