Integrity, the other I

This past weekend, I kept a promise I made 30 years ago to my BFF.

We attended our 30th class reunion.

We promised that we would go to all reunions that ended in -0-. We tried to talk ourselves out of going…right until we were walking in the door Saturday evening. We went because we would not break that promise.

We had fun. Win.

On Sunday, I had lunch with a friend/colleague (so I could meet her puppy).

We talked a little business, a little personal and a lot about potty training. I shared that I was upset with myself because I had set a goal to post at least every two weeks and it had been more than three. I also told her that I was surprised because the next word up on the list was “integrity”. It should be easy.

She just smiled and said “So, you are upset…why? Because you are out of integrity with yourself?”

Well, that was an uncomfortable truth. Ouch.

Lets see… I refused to break a promise I made to myself (and someone else) as a child AND I have broken a promise to myself (and no one else) six months ago. Hmmm…

“Integrity is doing the right thing even when no one is watching.” ~C. S. Lewis

Factoring is the oldest form of commercial finance in existence. Yet, I cannot count the number of times I have said “I am a Factor” and watched eyes glaze over. It is as if this simple, helpful, incredibly important segment of business finance is shrouded in secrecy.

I tell my clients and prospective clients the good, the bad and the ugly. It is not uncommon for other issues in a business to bubble up once the cash flow challenges are leveled out. Over the years I have gotten pretty good at knowing what those could be. I pull no punches. I make no excuses. It is a conscious decision to be completely transparent about…everything. There have certainly been times when my approach is not…appreciated. I am fine with that. I would rather lose a deal than walk into a future headache, or set someone up to fail.

In order to operate with integrity, you have to be transparent in your intention and be able to meet people where they are at.

Potty training a puppy is a prime example (Ha! I did manage to work potty training into this!).

On Sunday, we talked a LOT about the challenges of potty training. At one point I said we should wake the baby up and take her outside to potty. Why wake her up? Because she is at a place in her development that she probably has to go and by the time she wakes up, she won’t have time to get outside; or she will get sidetracked and forget until it is too late. Sure enough, we woke her up, took her outside and she immediately (and sleepily) handled her business. She then went back inside and fell asleep again.

We met her where she is at. The result was made of win.

The lessons…

Do not ever assume that your understanding of a situation is the same understanding someone else has…

Another…

If you are transparent in your actions and meet people where they are at, even if you lose, you win…

And finally…

All sleeping puppies are cute – waking them up to go outside means lots less mess in your house.

Melissa~

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