True Success Begins In The Heart of Man

Written by Robb Thompson


robb_thompson75x75All success begins with establishing deep-seated values. One of the most noticeable characteristics among leaders who have achieved some sense of wholeness is that they know who they are, what they believe, and for what they stand.

The poison of moral relativism and situational ethics continues to infect today's global culture. As a result, we have witnessed an alarming deterioration in business and personal ethics. Over the years, the lines of right and wrong have diminished from black and white into various shades of muted and indistinguishable grey. This flawed belief system has materialized so persuasively that, for many in our world, there is no longer any absolute right or wrong. No longer do values have any meaningful definition. They are oftentimes seen as a disadvantage.


A few years ago I had an opportunity to accept a major deal that would greatly increase our company's profits and generate a lot of money over the course of just a few years. I turned it down. Many didn't understand why I would do such a thing and miss out on a great opportunity to make so much money. But I made a commitment many years ago that I would never negotiate my integrity for anything or anyone. That is one of the very first values I established within my company--to always prize integrity above profit, relationships, or short-term success. I am not interested in any short-term benefits that would cause me to compromise my values.


Your values are what make you the person you are. The same is true with the organization you lead. The values of that organization make it what it is. You may not realize it now, but the future of your company is linked to the values you establish within and throughout it. The reason for this is simple; values guide each and every decision, which then shapes our destiny. Without clear and established values by which your company filters every decision, the lifespan of your company greatly diminishes.


So what values govern your life? What values govern your company's decisions, policies, and protocol? Do you believe in the values of integrity, hard work, honesty, dependability, creativity, initiative, and teamwork? Do your employees know the top three values of your organization?


After years of experience and working with hundreds of leaders, I can tell you that one value overshadows and outshines all others. The neglect of this value is the reason nearly 90% of all organizations fail.

INTEGRITY! It remains the foundation of all success and wholeness. It has been argued that being a person or company that prizes integrity puts you at a disadvantage in today's corporate world. Those who take this position are blind to both the pragmatic and long-term ramifications of their ideology.


Any unethical action can appear to be advantageous for the moment, but wisdom and history prove those who value integrity always come out on top in the end. Just ask Enron.


Let me leave you with a few vital questions that will help you identify whether or not you have established the values necessary to experience wholeness in this life:


  • Which principles define you as a person?
  • What unseen ideals guide your life?
  • What are the non-negotiable issues for you as a person - the principles you will not break?
  • Are your ethics guided by moral principles, or by the convenience of the moment?
  • On a scale of 1-10, what character rating would you give yourself, and why?
  • What do you need to change in order to achieve a higher rating?
  • Is God pleased with your character? Why, or why not?

"Aim at heaven and you get earth thrown in; aim at earth and you get neither." - C.S. Lewis

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