When I was a kid there was a game designed for kids who wanted to become future doctors called Operation.  While the medical field never called my name, I did play the game more than once.

In Operation, the player takes a set of tweezers that are attached to an electronic buzzer and tries to do surgery, taking little plastic organs and bones out of a goofy looking patient.

The object of Operation was to have steady hands. Touch anything but the desired piece and “bzzzttttt” (buzz sound) … you got nailed by the buzzer and lost the game.

As leaders, we are hardwired to pursue success. But at what cost?

If I told you that you could have success or you could have integrity, but not both, which would you choose?

Such a hypothetical question forces you to examine your definition of success. If your meaning lands you on “win at all cost,” then I would argue you are really not successful.

Wouldn’t it be great if there was an integrity buzzer that zapped us every time we got just a little off center with our character? Not a big zap. Just a little jolt.

The first sign of a short cut … bzzzttttt.  Fudge a little on expenses … bzzzttttt. Do something wrong when no one is looking … bzzzttttt. I have a feeling an integrity buzzer would keep us all on track.

I encourage you to pursue success. But also pursue integrity. And by all means, if you ever have to choose between the two (and believe me, you will), I challenge you to choose integrity.

Doing so will cause you to like the man or woman you see in the mirror a lot more. And in my book that will make you a true success.

Leadership Begins at Home,


What is your definition of success and how does integrity fit in to your thinking?

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