After 1500+ events over 23 years, it happened...I splintered the edge of a wooden door while loading my sound equipment out of a ballroom.
Does this mean I've been lucky up until now? Nope, I've just been much more careful.
Unlike most other events, my performance blended into that of the performer after me (Elvis tribute artist Mark Stanzler, who is awesome) without any downtime, and I was rushing to get my stuff out of the room.
My fault, 100%, no excuses.
After giving a business card to my client and showing her the damage, I asked her to please let the management of the venue know that I was responsible and that they could call me on Monday to discuss the cost of the repair.
And then it bothered me the rest of the weekend.
The Monday morning e-mail follow-up from my client blew my mind for two reasons.
"I spoke with the manager on duty Saturday night...she said the nick (in the door) was not a problem--you are not the first to do it, but (you are) the first toadmit doing it. You will not be hearing from them (regarding repair), but they also were appreciative of your taking ownership."
Blown Away Reason #1: They are not going to ask me to pay for repairs. Thank you!!
Blown Away Reason #2: Other people have done it. None have admitted it.
If my head was shaking any harder right now, I could rent it out as a paint mixer.
I cannot imagine causing damage to someone else's property (and their business) in the course of operating my own business...and NOT saying something.
Some people will say "But they'll never know!"
Here's the kicker: *I* would know...and that's one person who will never let me off the hook for it.
According to an on-line dictionary, INTEGRITY is defined as "the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness".
Admitting it doesn't make me a better person.
I still damaged the door, and that means I have caused someone to have to work harder today to fix it.
It simply means that I am living by my self-imposed (inspired by family, mentors and role models) code of morals and ethics, and I don't have to look over my shoulder for fear of being caught.
When I saw a Law & Order re-run this weekend, I had to laugh when I heard a defense attorney try to curry a favorable sentence reduction by saying "But, your honor, my client has owned up to his crime".
Getting caught, and THEN admitting "Oh yeah, well...I did it" is not living with integrity.
You may ding someone's door this week.
You might cause a little damage in a parking lot.
You might do something which compromises someone's business, or reputation.
What will YOU do about it?
You can't always keep yourself from dinging the door...but you CAN make a good decision about what to do immediately afterward.
Here's hoping you pick integrity...it's the right choice.
Now in his 12th year as The Motivational Firewood™ Guy, Steve Gamlin continues to share his back-to-basics blend of motivation and humor with corporate audiences around the country. Drawing from a decade in the radio industry, 7 years of stand-up comedy and his lifelong personal development journey, Steve shares 'real' messages for 'real' people.
Integrity Health LLC is a franchise company based in New Hampshire. We specialize in health coaching centers that combine fitness with weight loss to optimize and promote optimal health.