Your Leadership Link by Cullen S. Gibson
I have often told the story when I drove my thirty-three-foot camper-trailer under a low-profile steel bridge in Marion and peeled the roof off my camper like an onion. The noise of the bridge being hit was overheard by two city employees and they quickly ran over to the crash site and said, “We need to check the integrity of that bridge you hit with your camper!” I said, “Are you kidding me? That is a steel train bridge, and it is fully intact!” Certainly, a funny story to tell but it was not so funny when it happened. I found it interesting that this employee used the word “integrity” to describe the condition of the bridge. Obviously, the integrity, completeness, and wholeness of the bridge prior to the accident were not in question. Now that something potentially changed the wholeness of the structure, the bridge needed to be evaluated for its durability, stability, and solidity.
Anyway, as I walked away from the scene of the accident (I drove away with the camper and the roof gone), I came away with these thoughts about integrity:
- You never know as you travel down the road of integrity (which is the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles), when there may be something unseen (the bridges of life) that may desire to impede your journey or challenge your strength, sincerity, and truthfulness. Leaders with integrity will have nothing to worry about when these challenges are presented.
- Integrity means doing the right thing at all times and in all circumstances, whether or not anyone is watching. I really was not trying to destroy the bridge with my camper, but it sure looked as if I was trying to take a shortcut through downtown Marion. Leaders with integrity know it takes courage to do the right thing.
- Building a reputation of integrity takes years, but it takes only a second to lose, so never allow yourself to ever do anything that would damage your integrity.
- Finally, “success will come and go, but integrity is forever.”
Have a momentous week!