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August 15, 1997

TAKING ACTION

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Often times the best decisions are made off the battlefield and before the war on our integrity begins. It is helpful to visualize the decisions we will face before we find ourselves in a pressure-packed circumstance. Walk through the following “Am I?” situations:

• Am I Going to Make Rash Emotional Decisions? Pressure creates tension, and tension can make for some emotional moments. Some people have a hard time in such situations, and they make poor decisions that affect themselves or others. How can I guard against that?

• Am I Going to Compromise the Truth? Some people find it almost impossible to admit making a mistake. Am I willing to stick with the truth even when it hurts? Remember a half-truth is as bad as a full lie.

• Am I Going to Take Shortcuts? Someone once said that the longest distance between two points is a shortcut. While that may be true, pressure tempts us to consider shortcuts when we otherwise wouldn’t. Am I willing to fight to do what’s good, right, and true?

• Am I Going to Keep My Commitments? Moliere said, “Men are alike in their promises. It is only in their deeds that they differ.” Am I going to keep my word and follow through, even when it hurts? Will my “promises made, promises kept” slogan melt when the pressure gets real hot?

• Am I Going to Bow to Others’ Opinions? Some people are especially susceptible to the opinions of others. That was true of me the first five years of my career. Will I do what I know is right, even when it’s unpopular? Are you a people pleaser by nature and do you have to over-manage your opinion poll to keep the good, the right, and the true?

• Am I Going to Make Promises I Can’t Keep? Samuel Johnson said, “We ought not to raise expectations which it is not in our power to satisfy. It is more pleasing to see smoke brightening into flame, than flame sinking into smoke.” How am I going to keep my promises from going up in smoke?

Last Question:
Are you willing to fail to meet others expectations if it means you keep your integrity?
Why or why not?

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