Reading The Personal MBA recently, I came across a great concept to help level up one’s integrity: The Newspaper Rule.
It goes like this: Imagine that every decision you make, every word you speak, every action you take… imagine it all being publicized on the front page of your national newspaper the very next day. No spin. No sensationalism. Just the facts.
Now think: Would you still make the same decisions? Would you still say and do the same things?
Sure, there are plenty of good reasons why you might want to keep certain parts of your life private, but shame and embarrassment shouldn’t be among them.
Not every decision you make will be smart, but every one can be honest. Not every word you say about others has to be pleasant, but you can at least be willing to deliver those words face-to-face.
That person you are when nobody’s watching? Try being that same person when everybody is.
Yeah, I know. It’s an impossible goal. I’ve written before how we’re all hypocrites to some extent. I don’t believe it’s possible to achieve complete integrity. We’re all human. Even the best of us say and do things we regret, things we hope nobody ever finds out about.
But integrity… it’s a fine thing to strive for nonetheless.