Hockey Pucks and Honesty: The Rest of the Story…

Remember Paul Harvey? His weekly radio show shared interesting news stories with listeners in a way that kept them tuned in until he shared “the rest of the story.”

In true Paul Harvey fashion, this week’s tells the “rest of the story” involving the 11-year old twins who switched places during a hockey game contest.  One of the boys made the magnificent shot but it sparked controversy.   Did you miss last week’s story?  You can click here to read it.

A ruling has been made regarding the $50,000 prize money.   Ultimately, officials decided not to award the family the money because of “legal implications.”  But there is a happy ending.   The money will go towards hockey equipment for underprivileged children and the family says they’re okay with that.

So, now we know what happened in this story but I wonder if there are lessons to learn even from this outcome?  Consider these three lessons in our personal leadership development:

#1 Integrity isn’t integrity until it is tested.
Most leaders will claim to be a person of integrity.  But in reality, unless that integrity is tested in some way, we never have the chance to find out how we really think, speak or act.  Integrity is honesty and truth regardless of the circumstance. When things are going well; when our team is performing to expectations; and there is an absence of conflict, we are not faced with the dilemma of honesty.  The real test is when things are not going well and we are tempted to take the moral shortcut.

#2 There is no such thing as small and big stuff when it comes to integrity.
There is a popular saying to “not sweat the small stuff.”  And I agree with that approach to life.  Too often we get tangled up in the minute details that really don’t impact the big picture. Worry, stress, and uncertainty are those “little” things that can derail our focus to what counts (and yes, this is much easier said than done).  However, when it comes to our integrity, we really only get one shot.  If we are willing to take a moral shortcut on the little things, how can we be trusted when it matters most?

#3 Lessons are there if we are willing to learn.
More than likely, the story of the twins’ hockey shot hit the airwaves first because of the surprise success of hitting such a longshot.  Then readers were surprised to learn a switcheroo occurred which sparked the debate of how to handle the prize money.  If we are aware, we’ll find many opportunities around us that can teach us important lessons – those moments that help us pause and reflect on our own thoughts and motives.  That is, if we’re willing to learn.   How often do we pause to reflect on what we need to learn?

In the words of Paul Harvey, “and now you know…the rest of the story”.  The family didn’t receive the prize money.  Do you agree with the decision?  And better yet, how would you have responded if given the same choice?

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