Integrity: Why we Aren't Always Honest


With expert level leadership skills comes expert level responsibilities and expert level pressures.  Everyone knows it is important to be honest.  Not everyone knows how to remain honest in your dealings with others while having to deal with high level pressure.  Below are a few reasons why we aren't always honest:

1.  Self-preservation. 

2.  Relationship-preservation.

3.  The truth will lead to a difficult conversation.

4.  We can't remember what the truth is (I.e. we are continuing to string lies together.)

5.  We will lose something important to us.

The real challenge here is not identifying the items on this list (which is actually much longer), the real challenge is two-fold:  1)  recognizing the reason for the dishonesty in the moment and 2)  figuring out how to stop trading our trust with others for these reasons.  Obviously the reasons we are dishonest cut to the core.  We deeply want to protect ourselves and our relationships.  We want to avoid conflict with others at all costs.  This only adds to the difficulty of mastering the honesty equation.  There are too many compelling reasons to not be truthful. 

Expert leaders fight this fight every day.  Expert Leaders are very self-aware of their core beliefs and values and they behave accordingly.  The solution to the honesty equation is complicated and varied.  However, I suggest you consider attaching a strong positive anchor to telling the truth.  Dishonesty produces a tremendous amount of unnecessary stress in our lives.  Continually remind yourself the short-term stress of honesty is tiny when compared to the overwhelming weight of lies stacked on lies.

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