For leaders, integrity is never “on sale”

Can you really put a price tag on integrity?  And if so, how much are you willing to pay?

The sports world was abuzz recently over the actions of pro golfer Brian Davis.  Davis was facing Jim Furyk in a playoff at the Verizon Heritage, and was trying to notch his first-ever PGA Tour win.

As the Yahoo Sports page tells the story, “Davis’s approach shot on the first hole of the playoff bounced off the green and nestled in among some weeds. When Davis tried to punch the ball up onto the green, his club may have grazed a stray weed on his backswing.

The hitting of any material around your ball during your backswing constitutes a violation of the rule against moving loose impediments, and is an immediate two-stroke penalty. And in a playoff, that means, in effect, game over.”

Here’s the shocker:  Davis called the violation on himself, resulting in the loss of $1 million dollar purse and a chance at winning his first-ever PGA Tour event.

So what price did Davis pay for his integrity?  As a leader, one million dollars doesn’t come close.  And at the end of the day, here’s a guy who knew he did the right thing.

So, is there a lesson for us as leaders?  Absolutely.  We are likely not on golf’s grand stage, but our actions certainly are to those we interact with each day.

As you approach your world, I encourage you to consider these three questions:

  1. If my actions were replayed on a screen for all to see, would there be anything I’m not proud of?
  2. Are any of my motives self-serving?  And if so, what tests of integrity might they be creating?
  3. Am I taking any “shortcuts” -relationships, financial, or otherwise- that are attacking my reputation of integrity?

It will be interesting to see what lies ahead for Davis.  I suspect the honorable course he took at the playoffs will repay him, in some way, far beyond a PGA title.

And for us as leaders, our reputation is just as important.

2 thoughts on “For leaders, integrity is never “on sale”

  1. Integrity was an important buliding block in the character of Joseph during his trials in Egypt. The alternative to integrity is compromise. When integrity is chosen over compromise one’s character becomes stronger,even if the choice brings negative consequences.The development of character is at the heart of our development as leaders.(from comments from The Maxwell Leadership Bible)

    1. Excellent point. Joseph’s life is an excellent example of the important of integrity. Thanks for the comment!

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