Integrity is one of the most important traits you can have and you need to surround yourself with people who align with your Integrity. However, you never really know how important integrity is until someone burns you by acting without it. This week on Ignition Point, tune in to hear all about how you can build your tribe on integrity.
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Welcome to Ignition Point – the show that’s here to help you take the leap, conquer your week, and achieve your goals. If you’re looking to amplify your mindset with a fresh perspective and spark your momentum – you’re in the right place.
Hey! What’s going on? I’m Steven Miller. Thanks for joining me for another Ignition Point – the show where we cover an influential speech or feature a Guest Keynote that’ll get you fired up and ready to take on another winning week.
Most weeks on the show, we talk about how you can disrupt your normal train of thought and take on any challenge. Doing so empowers you to do whatever it takes to achieve your goals, but this week, I want to talk about integrity and why I believe it’s the most important character trait you need in your life and in your relationships.
The surprising thing is – much like the topic of vulnerability – integrity is probably something you don’t put a lot of thought into. That’s just because you can’t put it on a to do list. It’s equal parts behavior, character, and personal code. Integrity is unique amongst character traits because you never prioritize it until you’ve been burned by somebody who acts without it.
Back when I was figuring out my career path in college, I thought I wanted to go into the music industry. I had this magnetic attraction to artist representation, talent booking and music festival production. It had this flashy sex appeal and high energy, but I really wanted to do it to help artists to find a way to achieve their dreams without feeling the need to move to LA or New York to get their big break. Fortunately for me, I had landed in a music city for college – New Orleans, LA – and the talent was just as abundant as the beads and the bars.
So, I did what any gung-ho, starry-eyed up-incomer would do – I immersed myself in the music scene and searched for mentors and opportunities. I didn’t expect what I went on to find.
“Why would you ever want to be in this industry?” “You can’t help me, so why would I help you?” “Go spend a year in the mail room, if I’m looking for a mentee, I’ll come find you.”
Suffice to say that the stars in my eyes collapsed into black holes.
When I was determining how to pivot from music, I had to figure out why I became so disenchanted. It turns out, it wasn’t the rejection – it was the fact that the Music Industry didn’t share in my Integrity. The industry I came to experience wasn’t just cutthroat, it was straight up decapitation. The experience and the network burned me, but it made me realize that I needed to be in a line of work where I didn’t have to forego my integrity to get a job or find success.
What you do in life shouldn’t be selfishly inspired or achieved by stepping on and over others. You need to surround yourself with people who share in your character and put integrity first.
Now to give you a clearer perspective on how personal integrity and collective integrity can brighten your life, let’s get into the weekly monologue.
Let’s get after it!
THE WEEKLY MONOLOGUE
There’s this old Chinese proverb about a cookie jar. A Grandfather is in a big room with his grandchildren around him. The children asked him, “Grandfather, what is the secret to a good, solid relationship?” Their Grandfather said, “Relationships are like a cookie jar. If you take a cookie from the cookie jar without putting a cookie back into the cookie jar, you’ll eventually find an empty cookie jar.”
The lesson is, the greedy are destined to fail. If you’re in the business world, you should always leave a little on the table. You’ll find that in every broken relationship you have, somebody took the cookies out of your cookie jar without putting any back in.
Finding relationships where both sides put in selfless effort is a challenge. It requires you to constantly gauge a person’s character. Are they willing to speak their mind? Are they willing to risk being wrong? Does their conduct make them a good person? Are they leading by example? Are they taking responsibility for their actions?
But the true test of any person’s character is found in how they treat the people who they can’t use. Everybody treats Presidents and Vice Presidents with respect and dignity. But how do you treat your secretary, your valet, or your waiter? How do you treat those people?
Imagine you’re the head coach of your favorite team. You probably treat the players on the field great, but that’s not what people will judge you on. And that’s the secret. They’ll watch how you treat the players on the bench. So, how will you treat the people in your life you can’t use?
One day in the not so distant future, you’ll have to build a team. When this pivotal moment comes, surround yourself with good people. You win with character, not characters. When everything in your life is going according to plan, characters will give you truly unwavering support. But when shit hits the fan, characters will come after you with pitchforks.
So, go find good, loyal, hard-working, dedicated people. When you find a person who meets these qualifications, take them with you, and make introductions. The unfortunate truth is that you can’t find enough good, hardworking, loyal people to associate yourself with.
You may find a potential teammate that’s got charisma and a tenacious work ethic, but underneath it all they lack respect for principles and defy authority. If you put this person on your team, you risk compromising the team dynamic you envision.
Depending on the outcome, you may never get a second chance to assemble a winning team. You know why? When you succumb to building a team around talent without considering character, you prostitute your integrity.
Your greatest asset in life is your integrity – it’s your truth, your moral code, your honor. With integrity, you have nothing to fear, since you have nothing to hide. With integrity, you do the right thing, and you free yourself of guilt. Without integrity, no real success is even possible.
But let’s take a moment and look into our crystal ball to see your future. What is your destiny? Where will you be if you live a life driven by these principles?
In this possible future, you’ve nurtured your relationships, surrounded yourself with people of strong character, and your integrity remains uncompromised. You have the sports cars, a mansion and even a jet. You’ve got anything and everything you’ve ever wanted.
The only thing you lack is immunity. Even when you’ve got it all, there will always be factors outside of your control. A disruptive force may materialize, and your house of cards could come toppling down. If it all were whisked away, what would you have left?
There should always be one thing. Family. When it comes down to brass tacks, your family should always be the most important thing in your life. If you have family – whether by blood or by bond – you can survive anything. When you think you’ve done enough for your family, always do more! You can never do enough. Your Family makes you the luckiest person in the world.
STRATEGY FOR SUCCESS
This week’s monologue is a perfect complement to what Mari Tautimes and I spoke about on the podcast last week. After all, when you really take the time to level up your relationships, you validate your character and you make your innermost truth felt. These factors come together after a while, and those people who you’ve turned into raving fans grow to see you as someone with a strong sense of integrity.
Yet, integrity doesn’t have a list of action steps. You can’t “do these things and you’ll check integrity off the list.” It’s not like a plugin or a browser extension. Integrity is a character trait that is achieved by doing right by others. To me, the expression “be good to your word,” is a great example of how you can uphold yours. Good people – the people who have your back and stand by their character – make promises and live up to them by holding themselves accountable. When you speak with your heart and live by a code of ethics, values and agreements – you live with and embody integrity. Once you feel that you have mastered your own integrity, you need to surround yourself with others who have done the same.
I want to draw your attention to what the author of this week’s monologue invoked when they focused on the vital importance of family. Think about what lies at the crossroads of relationship building and acting with integrity. It’s there that you find the people who are most authentic, who will stand by you through thick and thin. The author of this week’s monologue would say it’s your family, but the answer I always come up with is your tribe.
When someone says they are looking for their tribe, it means they’re looking for people who are likeminded, loyal and dedicated to the success of the tribe as whole.
We are all looking for a tribe to call our own. We look for and gravitate toward those who reflect the qualities we admire. We know we want to belong and that we want to be heard and known. But just as each individual is unique, so is their journey to find their own tribe.
What works for one person may not work for you, and it shouldn’t. This week I want to encourage you to act with Integrity and do one of two things. Either seek out your tribe or start your tribe. Choose your path and commit to it.
If you’re going to go out into the world to find your tribe, call out to them and advertise what you’re looking for. Look for the people whose values align with yours and demonstrate compatibility in the way they interact with you.
Use your network to identify those people who light up your life, then step up and ask to connect. It’s just like dating – you’re allowed to make the first move, so you should! People love to hear that you respect or admire them, so address them in a complementary fashion to get a foot in the door. If it doesn’t feel genuine enough, communicate honestly and be transparent. I’d bet you’ll be surprised at the amount of feedback you receive.
Over the course of this week, evaluate your character, demonstrate integrity, and surround yourself with the people who you’re proud to call part of your tribe. Your tribe is out there, but only you can determine the path that gets you to them, or them to you. Work hard and be yourself – and never compromise your integrity.
Ignition Point is all about making a positive impact, so please share the show with someone you think it would help. Your feedback helps Ignition Point to keep moving forward, so send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or write a review for the show on Apple Podcasts to let me know what you think.
We hold out until the end of each show to share who inspired each week’s Ignition Point for two reasons. To keep you curious and remind you to focus on the motivation. This week’s Ignition Point was inspired by the 2012 Florida State University Commencement Address presented by Lee Corso.
Never regret being a good person to the wrong people. Your behavior says everything about you and their behavior says enough about them.
So, stay motivated and keep moving forward. If you put in the hard work right now – one day – you could be the one motivating the world with your story.
I’ll be looking forward to speaking with you next time on another Ignition Point.
Now get on out there, and win the week!