I’m a fairly regular donor for the American Red Cross. When I was ten years old, I was in a terrible car accident which forced me to need blood. So, ever since, I give. Until recently that is. Here’s how it works.
If you’ve never donated blood, let me fill you in a bit. Before you can actually give, a series of pre-screening tasks occur – blood pressure, temperature, wellness questions and lastly a hemoglobin test. They prick your finger to get a small sample and test your blood for the required iron level. 12.5 is the threshold – not a tenth too less.
Well, you guessed it. Today my level was 12.4. I was shocked! In fact, they tested me twice to ensure the reading was correct. It was and I was denied and asked to try again in a couple of days (along with a few suggestions to get my level up that small degree before trying again). They gave me a t-shirt for effort and sent me on my way.
As I drove away (a little ticked after driving across town to give), I got to thinking. I’m glad they have requirements. For without them, I could have donated blood that could have harmed someone else. It’s one of their non-negotiables and it makes sense.
That experience made me think. As a business or ministry professional, what are our non-negotiables? Common sense, they say, is not so common. So, if that’s true, could it also be true for those areas or principles we simply won’t budge on…period?
Whether we realize it or not, those who interact with us on a regular basis know what our non-negotiables are. They know where we draw the line. How do they know? We’ve demonstrated that “line” repeatedly in the past.
The real question is: how “wavy” is my line?
Makes you stop and think because whether realize it or not, when your name comes to mind to those you interact with often, they have a perception of you based on previous action – not the words we have spoken.
So, as I think about it. What are the non-negotiable principles I stand for – or hope to be known for? Would any of these statements ever be made about you?
- She is a woman of integrity. Her word counts. When she says she will do something, you can count on it…always.
- You can trust him. What you say to him in private will never be repeated to anyone else – for any reason, even those closest to him.
- She will give you honest feedback. It might not be what you always want to hear, but you can know she has your best interest at heart and wants to help you improve in your job. Oh…and she’s usually right on target.
- I know he has my back. Despite the times I mess up, I know he will never throw me under the bus in front of others. I think he would take a bullet for me.
Those statements are never made about someone who “sometimes” lives by non-negotiables. It’s consistency built over time.
So, I was denied today to donate blood. That’s okay. I didn’t meet their standard – today. In the meantime, I’ll wear their t-shirt and make sure I pass the test next time.