Do you know how to pick out a quality piece of fruit?
Everyone I talk to seems to have a technique to pick out the sweetest, juiciest, and tastiest ones in the pile. But I don’t have that ability.
For example, I was trying to make these fancy fruit parfaits for a special meal I was preparing. The recipe called for a mango. So I went to the mango pile at the grocery store and started looking them over. I picked the one that looked the best out of the bunch. It didn’t have any blemishes on the outside, felt solid, and had a great color.
But when I got that mango home and cut it open, it was brown and rotten on the inside. At that point, I realized the fruit parfaits I was making would be mango free.
I think there’s something we can all learn from a rotten mango.
One of the most important characteristics of an effective leader is integrity.
What often happens is a person will be put into a position of leadership. This person will become very conscious of how he or she is perceived. This leader will begin to work hard on creating the right persona and the right posture in order to gain credibility or respect or admiration. But therein lies the danger. If we only focus on what others see, on what’s on the outside, we will grow weaker on the inside.
A good piece of fruit is hard to spot because it can look so good on the outside. But it’s only when we cut or bite into it that we can tell if it’s good or not. In the same way, it’s only through the situations that reveal our heart and our motives and our character that others can see what kind of person we really are.
I often tell people that it is possible to be a good leader without integrity…just not for very long. At some point, who you are on the inside is going to make its way to the outside. When that happens – when who you really are is revealed – then people will know whether or not they can trust you. And a trustworthy leader is a leader worth following.
Take a moment right now and consider these questions:
- If your life went under the knife of inspection today, would people see that you’re the same person on the inside that you project on the outside?
- Where are the inconsistencies between your inside and your outside life?
- What would happen if you spent more time and effort on your integrity?
“I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live up to what light I have.”
― Abraham Lincoln
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