How brave are you at work? Leadercast, The Brave Ones, really challenged everyone to raise the bar on how we define bravery. Think about the times you’ve been brave – when you took courageous action. It may have been pursuing a new idea, being a leader for positive change or confronting someone who was compromising the values of your organization. Doing these things with courage and excellence requires a high degree of integrity.
Rudy Giuliani shared words of wisdom that are really sticking with me. He shared something he learned as a young lawyer – “for every one hour in court, put in four hours of preparation.” What he discovered is that the more you prepare, the more situations you will anticipate. And the more you anticipate, the more likely you’ll have an answer for the things you didn’t anticipate. He applied this philosophy to his role as Mayor of New York, so when the tragic events of 9/11 hit, Giuliani was prepared to take immediate action to help the city recover.
This not only works for lawyers and mayors, but for all of us, regardless of the work you do.
Here are four ways you can raise the bar on integrity at work:
- Be a constant learner – Seek to learn more through reading, talking to others who have more experience, reading and studying your industry. The more you know, the easier it will be to make good decisions.
- Internalize your values – Have your top five values in front of you and be clear on what your non-negotiables are. If you can’t quickly tell someone, then you’ll want to reflect on your values and write them down. Then put them into daily practice.
- Study God’s Word – Romans 12:2-3 says “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” When you study God’s word as it pertains to your work, you’ll be better prepared to respond to the unexpected.
- Avoid compromising situations – All of us have weaknesses, but we also have God who promises to provide a way out (1 Corinthians 10:13). Every temptation begins with a thought. The more we manage what we feed our minds and the thoughts we allow ourselves to dwell on, the greater our strength will be to do the right thing in all circumstances.
If you want to study a great example of integrity, read the book of Daniel. Daniel was found to have an excellent spirit within him before three different kings (Daniel 1:19-20, Daniel 5:11, Daniel 6:3). His uncompromising integrity helped him get promoted and overcome great adversity. A person of integrity possesses the wisdom and courage to do what’s right at all times. Preparation helps us grow in wisdom and cultivates a habit of doing the right thing so when tough challenges arise – and they will – we simply know what to do and have the strength to do it.
What will you do to increase your integrity so you can approach your work with greater bravery?
How Do I Live a Life of Integrity at Work? / Steve Toth
Leading with Integrity / Andy Wilson
4 Ways Accountability Boosts Integrity / Catherine Gates