Whose Integrity Matters to You? (415)

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What if your understanding of integrity isn’t as accurate as you think? In this solo episode of the How’d It Happen Podcast, Mike dives into the fascinating concept of integrity, challenging your preconceived notions and prompting an important reevaluation. Using a keynote address given to a group of high-achievers as a launch pad, Mike explores the intriguing notion that your self-perception of your integrity isn’t as important as how others perceive it. Do we overestimate our competence and abilities? How can we recover when we falter? And most importantly, how can we maintain our integrity? Get set to embark on a journey of self-discovery.

Check out the video version of this episode below:

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Episode transcript below:

0:00:00 – Mike Malatesta

Hey everybody, welcome back to the how’d it Happened podcast. This is a free Thinking Friday episode, a solo episode. I do these episodes every Friday. I’m going to do a long-form conversation episode every Monday with someone who’s had amazing success in their careers and in their life and we talk about that success and we talk about how it happened for them and, more importantly, why it matters to you. So if you are new to the podcast, please consider subscribing and you’ll get every or following and you’ll get every one of these podcasts directly into whatever feed you happen to have for your podcast platform. So today I’m going to be talking about integrity. 

I find that integrity is a really interesting thing and here’s why I recently gave a keynote address to a group of 80 high-performing members of a group called the Young Guns Movement, and the keynote was about what it takes, or what my experience has been, and what it takes, to become an industry icon. And I was so excited that they asked me to do this keynote because I never really considered myself or thought about myself as an industry icon. You know, it feels pretty good to have somebody think of you that way and ask you to do a talk about it. But as I was preparing for the talk, I was thinking about okay, what are the things that make up icons? And I came up with five, and they were integrity, commitment, optimism, nurturing and selfishness. And I talked about all of those at the keynote, but today I just want to talk about integrity. Because I started with integrity, I had just one of those simple ask for a show of hands things, and I asked everyone to raise your hand if you think that you operate and have high integrity. And, as you might imagine, I think every hand in the audience went up, which I guess is what I was expecting. And so then I asked a similar question and it was this how many of you know someone who you think has less than the highest integrity? And you can imagine what happened Almost all the hands went back up, and that got me thinking right. That’s worth talking about. 

So I went into this with the group because it kind of reminded me of I don’t know if this is Dunning-Kruger effect or not, but I’ve heard this stat like 90% of drivers think that they’re better than average, which, of course, is impossible. Right, because the average is the average, so you can’t have 90% of people being better than average, people tend to overestimate their competence and their abilities in a lot of things, and with integrity, it got me thinking. Well, it just doesn’t make sense that everybody thinks they have high integrity but everyone also thinks that there are other people who don’t have high integrity. So, like I said, it’s worth talking about whose viewpoint of your integrity matters the most. Is it your viewpoint or is it someone else’s? And I guess I’m going to argue that it’s not yours. And the number one reason that I think that is because, well one, you can BS yourself, right, you can pull the wool over your own eyes. You can forgive yourself, yeah, you can pull. You can BS yourself, you can forgive yourself, but you can’t really BS other people. You can’t pull the wool over other people’s eyes, at least not forever and usually not for long. And so this is how I talked to the Young Guns group and this is how I like to deal with this. 

For me, when it comes to integrity or character, it’s very important for everyone to try to maintain the highest integrity and the highest character that they are possible of maintaining, but we’re humans and we have situations that happen to us for which we’re not prepared, for example, or which surprise us or which catch us at a bad moment or catch us when we’re not feeling our best or catch us at an inopportune time. And it’s those times when, let’s face it, your integrity, your character can be challenged and it can slip. I know that’s happened to me. I’m very aware of my integrity and I have still had and even with that awareness, I still have times when I think it’s when I know, I know it slips, so it’s hard, it’s super hard, to maintain a very high integrity and I think that’s why you get those pans going up on both questions. You get people raising their hand for high integrity and you get people raising their hand for others who may not have the highest of integrities, and I think it’s. There’s definitely a difference. I’m not suggesting for a second that they’re that everyone has high integrity. They do not. 

What I am saying is that everyone’s integrity slips and when. I guess it’s helped me believing and understanding. That has helped me see, maybe have a little more patience for other people, maybe give people more of a benefit of a doubt than I might ordinarily have given them or would have given them before. I started thinking about this that way. But ultimately we’re gonna slip and the question is when we slip, how do we get back? And when we’re thinking about slipping or when we’re being challenged with our integrity and we might slip, what can we do to try to prevent it? And I thought of a couple of things that we can do to try to prevent it. One of the simplest things, and I think if everyone did this all the time, you wouldn’t have that second group of hands going up for meaning people who know someone that does not have high integrity, and that’s just really simple You’ll do what you say you’ll do. I think that most people who question on someone else’s integrity do it for one of several reasons, but one of the biggest reasons is probably that the people don’t do what they say, so you can’t trust what they say. And once someone can’t trust what you say, they are going to think that you don’t have the highest of integrity. 

A second is that you’re different with different people. There are some people who are sort of chameleon-like. They adapt to their environment Me and while a chameleon, for example, or a lizard does that to survive, people don’t do that to survive. They do that to fit in. You may not fitting in may not always be the best way for you to maintain high integrity. So I suggest you are not different with different people. You are the same with all people. 

Here’s another you hold others more accountable than you hold yourself, and I think that’s like why some hands go up for high integrity and hands go up for others without high integrity is because we BS ourselves. As I said, we don’t hold ourselves as accountable as we hold other people to have high integrity, and so we judge ourselves under a perhaps we do at least under a less stringent set of criteria than we judge others. And I guess the other thing is, if you want to have high integrity, it’s not about being better, it’s about really being able to be counted on reliably, honestly and instinctively. And I think that if you are able to be counted on reliably, honestly and instinctively, you will always be seen by others as having high integrity, and you’ll also be seen by yourself as having high integrity as well. So as I wrap this up, I just I thought it was a very interesting exercise. 

It got me thinking about my own integrity and how I. It’s very much a byproduct of how other people think of me. That’s the litmus test. That’s where the rubber hits the road, then what I think about my own integrity. It’s what other people think of my integrity, and if I can do the things like doing what I say, be honest, be show up reliably, honestly and instinctively, I have a really good chance of maintaining high integrity with people that interact with me, that know me, that have an opinion about me, and that’s what I want. That’s what I want out of life. I want them to think that way about me, because I know for sure that if they think that way about me, it’s probably true and I can think that way about me as well. 

So I hope you got some value from this. I hope it has you thinking about this whole integrity thing. I wonder, if I asked you those two questions, would you have raised your hand as a yes to both of the questions? I suspect you probably would have done so. I hope this was valuable. I enjoyed it, the chance to explore it with you. You and I have done a lot of great explorations together and I thank you for listening. I thank you for holding in. I thank you for maximizing the greatness inside of you each and every day, and I thank you for making your future your property, something that you know that you can own and be very proud of. Until next time I’ll see ya. 

Hey everybody, thanks for listening to this show and before you go, I just have three requests for you. One if you like what I’m doing, please consider subscribing or following the podcast on whatever podcast platform you prefer. If you’re really into it, leave me a review, write something nice about me, give me five stars or whatever you feel is most appropriate. Number two I’ve got a book. It’s called Owner Shift how Getting Selfish Got Me Unstuck. It’s an Amazon bestseller and I’d love for you to read it or listen to it on Audible or wherever else Barnes, noble, amazon you can get it everywhere. If you’re looking for inspiration that will help you unlock your greatness and potential, order or download it today so that you can have your very own copy, and if you get it, please let me know what you think. 

Number three my newsletter. I do a newsletter every Thursday and I talk about things that are interesting to me and or I give more information about the podcast and the podcast guests that I’ve had and the experiences that I’ve had with them. You can sign up for the podcast today at my website, which is my name, mikemalatesta.com. You do that right now. Put in your email address and you’ll get the very next issue. The newsletter is short, thoughtful and designed to inspire, activate and maximize the greatness in you. 

Alexi Cortopassi

Alexi Cortopassi

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