A Person of Influence Has...Integrity with People

"It has been said that you don’t really know people until you have observed them when they interact with a child, when the car has a flat tire, when the boss is away, and when they think no one will ever know.” ~ John Maxwell

I introduced the book Becoming a Person of Influence: How to Positively Impact the Lives of Others by John Maxwell to you last week. Each week we’ll cover a chapter and reflect on it.

This week, the focus is “A Person of Influence Has…Integrity with People.” If you haven't bought it and still would like to follow along, I would encourage you to find a copy of the book this week.

Integrity is a popular buzzword these days and I’m sure you hear a lot thrown around in business circles. But what does it really mean to be a person of integrity? Why do I need it? What would my life look like without integrity? How could I positively influence others by living a life of integrity?

Definition of Integrity:

Integrity (n.):

  • The quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness.
  • The state of being whole and undivided.

Scripture on Integrity:

“The righteous who walks in his integrity — blessed are his children after him!” ~ Proverbs 20:7 (ESV)

“One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much.” ~ Luke 16:10 (ESV)

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” ~ Philippians 4:8 (ESV)

John Maxwell talks about the UCLA survey of 1300 senior executives showed that 71% said integrity was the most important aspect to success in business. He mentions that “integrity is the foundation upon which, all qualities are built: respect, dignity, and trust. If the foundation (integrity) is weak, becoming a person of influence will be impossible.”

Integrity is about the little things. Phillip Brooks said, “Character is made in the small moments in life.”

“Everything you have done in the past – and the things you have neglected to do – come to a head when you’re under pressure.”

This part really connected with me. Here are three things that integrity is NOT:

1. Integrity is not determined by circumstances.

“Your circumstances are as responsible for your character as a mirror is for your looks. What you see only reflects what you are.”

2. Integrity is not based on credentials

“No number of titles, degrees, offices, designations, awards, licenses, or other credentials can substitute for basic, honest integrity when it comes to the power of influencing others.”

3. Integrity is not to be confused with reputation.

“If I take care of my character, my reputation will take care of itself.”

Top 10 questions to help you measure your integrity.

I thought it was one of the most important applications in this chapter. Take a few minutes and honestly assess yourself through these ten questions:

  1. How well do I treat people from whom I can gain nothing?
  2. Am I transparent with others?
  3. Do I role-play based on the person(s) I am with?
  4. Am I the same person in the spotlight as I am when no one is looking?
  5. Do I quickly admit wrong-doing without being pressed to do so?
  6. Do I put others people ahead of my personal agenda?
  7. Do I have an unchanging standard for moral decisions, or do circumstances determine my choices?
  8. Do I make difficult decisions, even when they have a personal cost?
  9. When I have something to say about people, do I talk to them or about them?
  10. Am I accountable to at least one person for what I think, say and do?

If you want to become someone who can positively influence other people, focus on developing the following qualities of integrity and living them out every day:

  • Model consistency of character
  • Employ honest communication
  • Value transparency
  • Exemplify humility
  • Demonstrate your support of others
  • Fulfill your promises
  • Embrace an attitude of service
  • Encourage two-way participation with the people you influence

I’ll close the blog each week with three big takeaways from the chapter for me:

1. If I am not faithful with the small things that require integrity, I will probably not be faithful with the big things.

2. My integrity has little to do with my title as chaplain or pastor.     

3. If I am going to be someone who positively influences people, I have to honestly come to grips with the fact that there are a few of those Top Ten questions above that I need to revisit and readjust my thinking and actions today and in the future.