integrityRecently the news has been full of politicians such as Anthony Weiner and athletes such as Alex Rodriguez who have demonstrated the exact opposite of integrity.

It’s easy for us to sit on the side and blast people like this as being stupid, arrogant and any number of other things.  Yet, at the same time, these two individuals and numerous others in the news have all been seen and are trying to be seen as leaders.

I read information about these types of individuals and I cringe because of their lack of integrity and we say, “How in the world could someone get that messed up?”

It’s simple — people get messed up one step at a time.

I doubt Anthony Weiner, Alex Rogriguez or anyone else woke up one morning and said they wanted to do something that would remove all doubts about their integrity.

No, people just don’t do that. Instead, what happens, is one step at a time, they compromise their integrity.

The steps down the sewer of being “without integrity” start small, but obviously over time they become larger and larger.

The larger steps occur because the smaller steps became increasingly easy and because they find themselves digging a hole of which they see no way out.  (Proof of this being Alex Rodriguez’s  comments during his negotiations with MLB over his suspension or Anthony Weiner’s press conference with his wife.)

How does this apply to us as sales leaders?

We have to ask ourselves if there are little things we are doing that compromises our integrity?  If someone had a glimpse into every one of my actions, what conclusions would they reach about me?

That’s key, because we all know that there are many of our actions that do not occur within view of someone.  I would argue, though, that those actions matter as much as the ones that everyone sees.

Is there consistency in your character? Do you strive to behave with high standards regardless of who is watching (or even if no one is watching)?

As sales leaders, we’re called upon to lead, and it doesn’t take a genius to know it’s a lot easier to lead when you have integrity than it is to lead when you lack integrity.

The slide downhill begins with one small step.  Yes, one small step might seem like not a big deal, but that is how compromised integrity began for people like Weiner and A-Rod and a host of others we see in the media.

I wish I could tell you there are “5 Easy Steps to Build Integrity.”   You and I both know that it’s not that easy.  Just as destroying integrity happens one step at a time, so does building it.

Make sure you are stepping in the right direction.

Copyright 2013, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog.

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