I ran across this article a few months ago and just saw it again. I initially wanted to post about the negative part of integrity but, this one made me feel better. Look for the best in others.
1. Parents apologizing to their kids for over-punishing or yelling at them.
Like animals, small children make easy targets. They’re physically vulnerable by size and stature, and they’re emotionally vulnerable because they don’t yet have the cognitive capacity to understand the complexities of life. When parents feel overwhelmed, it often follows that they snap at their children or issue a too-harsh punishment. As a parent myself, I known how hard it can be, but at the same time, I also know that delivering an apology to your child when you’ve gone too far is something he or she deserves—and that it’s an absolute sign of integrity. Parents should set aside their pride and learn to apologize more frequently.
2. Bosses highlighting their staffs’ accomplishments and downplaying their own.
As a practicing psychologist, I hear some pretty extreme stories in my office. Based on these tales, the percentage of managers or bosses who are narcissistic, sadistic, or even sociopathic appears to be off the charts. Wherever you have power, you’ll find someone nearby who’s gunning for it. Yet the boss with integrity is a boss not because she or he wants to have power over others, but because of being a natural leader who is good at keeping things organized and who handles challenging situations with dexterity. Simply put, bosses with integrity have no need for power because they know they’re good at what they do, and they also have insight into the fact that they get better financial compensation than other workers. The good boss makes a constant effort to appreciate a staff’s contribution and to give them credit for a job well done. Sadly, you rarely see this kind of healthy, appropriate behavior in the workplace. We desperately need more integrity from bosses far and wide.
3. Romantic partners who boycott name-calling or other vicious behaviors.
Let’s admit it: There are infinite ways you can treat a romantic partner badly. Every day, in couples old and new, wealthy and poor, men and women get nasty with each other. At the most distorted end of the spectrum are the physical and sexual abusers; at the other end are the name-callers and angry, passive-aggressive types. (Infidelity is a complex issue appropriate for separate analysis.) No psychological study will ever reveal the percentage of relationships that include nasty, below-the-belt behavior. Yet there are couples out there who fight but not never unfairly, who argue but stop short of calling each other names. Those couples, which may have problems with each other but still manage to show a level of humanity and kindness, are composed of romantic partners who show integrity in everyday life. May we all watch and learn from them.
4. Drivers who (almost) never use the horn or drive aggressively.
We all have to share the roads, no matter how annoying that reality might be. How you drive says a lot about you—how you treat people you don’t know; how you handle anger; and the extent to which you suffer from entitlement. Perhaps you’d like to believe that someone who drives slowly or non-aggressively is simply less busy than you, but driving in a cooperative manner that is mindful of your fellow commuters is actually a sign of integrity. Let’s all try to practice it more when we’re behind the wheel.
5. People in positions of power apologizing for keeping their captive audience waiting.
When someone feels important because they have more power than the majority of people around them, they often take themselves pretty seriously—and don’t think about the feelings of others. I’m talking about company higher-ups who don’t make a conscious effort to apologize to job interviewees for long waits—either on the day of an interview, or during the long lapses between interviewing and hearing back about whether a candidate got the job. I could just as easily be referring to physicians who keep a waiting room full of people waiting well past their agreed-upon appointment times. Every day people in positions of power, savoring their power, don’t acknowledge how they infringe upon the time and demands of those who depend on them. When was the last time that a physician came into the examination room and acknowledged how long you’d been made to wait? I’ve never heard a doctor say, “I’m sorry for keeping you waiting,” or, “Thanks for waiting; I’m sure you’re probably busy.” In situations where there is a major power imbalance, make no mistake: The one with power who apologizes to the one with less power is showing bona fide integrity.
6. Anyone giving another person the benefit of the doubt when the circumstances are unclear.
Modern life is more taxing and fast-paced than ever, and we suffer from stress on an ongoing basis. When we’re stressed, we’re more likely to get defensive and blame others. But if each of us could learn to give people the benefit of the doubt across the board—whether it’s in an argument, about a job not completed, or in response to feedback that suggests that someone’s spoken badly about you—we would have less stress in our daily lives. One of the noblest behaviors you can engage in is to give someone the benefit of the doubt before rushing to judgment or negatively filling in the blanks yourself.
As a society, we don’t volunteer hardly enough. Yet a handful of men and women make volunteering a built-in part of their weekly life, whether at a church, food pantry, animal shelter, or other non-profit operation. It shows a certain level of integrity to volunteer for a one-day stint here or there, but the steadier integrity is shown by those who commit to ongoing volunteer positions that require a real sacrifice of time. Cheers to all the parents who coach their children’s sports teams, but even louder applause to those volunteers who provide a service to their larger community or to underprivileged strangers.
The good news about integrity is that we’re not born with it—or without it—which means that it’s a behavior-based virtue we can cultivate over time. We can set a goal to show more integrity in everyday life and we can reach that goal by practicing the behaviors above, as well as countless others which too often go unnoticed.
Steve Jobs also asked ‘why’. He challenged every single operation within his company. Everyone, from the engineers to the accounting staff, did things differently, because Jobs would ask them why they did things in a certain way.
And answering, “Well, that’s what everybody else is going” simply wasn’t good enough.
When I started my first business several years ago, the first thing I thought was “I need to get a website”. Why did I think that? Why do I need a website?
I decided to get with the program and copy Steve Jobs to answer the fundamental questions about why I, a small business owner, actually need a website.
Companies spend millions creating brochures and distributing them. By having a website you can skip that entirely. Your potential customers can find out about you and any of your products online. If you get most of your business through networking and personal connections, then they will want to check out your website.
More than 2.4 billion people use the internet every day, and some 90% of those have purchased something, or contacted a company, online in the last 12 months. So by not having a website, you will be missing out on a big piece of the pie.
Have you tried getting a business loan recently? It’s not easy, but if you try and the bank manager asks to see your website, you better have a pretty good one. It doesn’t just stop with the bank, the perceived value of your business will be lower in everyone’s eyes – especially your customers.
By having a website potentially thousands of people are going to see it. You are able to influence people’s decisions and educate them.
You know that great feeling you get when people recognize your work? Well, by having a website you can show off what you do and take pride in your work.
That’s right! When it comes to writing the content for your website you are going to revisit things about your business that you haven’t in years. You will most likely reassess your business goals.
Ever wanted to start a business? Well, now you can do it with virtual space. In fact, by using some free website providers you don’t have to pay a penny.
Your website runs 24/7 without any supervision or need to lock it up. You can always be there for your customers.
By having a blog or even just a feed on your website, you can update customers on your newest offers, products, promotions, events, photos, or any other content.
The internet has opened up a whole new world of marketing that didn’t exist before. Your website can attract new business by using a whole host of low cost marketing techniques.
You can greatly reduce the cost of customer support by have a ticketing system, or even just an FAQ on your website. I can think of about 5 companies off the top of my head that streamline your customer service straight from your website.
I know there are other ways to do this, but by having a website you can have your own email firstname.lastname@example.org. It is more professional and easier to remember. I know you love your email@example.com , but it doesn’t really resonate with customers.
I know that sounds a bit far out, but it is true. You can run really cheap press releases online about your business, but to do it you will require a website. In fact, I have had clients who were absolute nobodies get one million views on YouTube because of online press releases.
The best answer to “Why do I need a website?” would be that you can stick it to the man. It is the easiest way to quit your job and earn a living.
Do you love sports? How about ballet, alternative dance, photography, holidays, Kit-Kats, cars, skateboards, science or animals? Well, then you have a business idea just waiting to happen. The internet has room for an unlimited number of niche blogs that can attract traffic and revenue. Just pick something you love and start writing about it.
On a little side note, if you own a website you get to call yourself a ‘web master’. Pretty cool! But reason #16 for ‘why I need a website’ is that you can easily make new business and personal connections with other website owners. This can lead to extra streams of income for you!
Have you ever been in an argument with someone and said “Well, I have written an article about that on my website, and actually, that isn’t the case.” It feels great! For some reason people don’t want to argue with you if you’ve written about something on your website. It also gives you a place where you can voice your opinion without judgment. If someone leaves you a comment you don’t like you can just drag it over to the spam folder.
You don’t need permission from your boss or company lawyer. Ash Ambridgedrops the ‘F-Bomb’ all the time because she can, and no else is asking her to stop. Now she has a world class business with thousands of customers.
Have you ever wanted to get into business, but don’t know how to compete with all the big names out there? By creating an incredibly beautiful website with a solid strategy behind it you can smash the big guys to pieces. You have no chance of building bigger skyscrapers, but your website can break down the perceived wall between you and them.
Have you ever had difficulty making that sale? Or convincing someone that you are the real deal. By having a well structured website you can foster instant credibility with anyone. You can provide the ultimate proof that you are, in fact, the realest of all deals (couldn’t resist that phrase).
I bet you didn’t see this one coming. I have been harping on about how a website can help your business, but it can help you personally too. Not only can a website host your resume or CV, but by owning and managing your website you have demonstrated tons of hard and soft skills. Having worked in HR once upon a time, I know it is valuable.
So… why do I need a website?
Can you think of a couple of reasons why you shouldn’t? It wouldn’t be a balanced argument if you don’t.
I’m going to make a Fricken Video Game! I’ve always wanted to make simple games but, I’m a designer not a GAME CODER. Now I can put my ideas into action even if it’s super generic, goofy and only some thing a few people will GEEK out on!
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