“Having influence is not about elevating self, but about lifting others.”

Sheri Dew

The TEN QUALITIES of A POSITIVE INFLUENCER using the simple acronym INFLUENCER are: I – Integrity with people, N- Nurtures People, F – Faith in People, L – Listens to People, U – Understands People, E – Enlarges People, N – Navigates for People, C – Connects with People, E – Empowers People, and R – Reproduces other Influencers.

We will explore INTEGRITY with people in today`s teaching. Anthony Dungy, an American former football player and coach said, “Integrity is the choice between what`s convenient and what`s right.”

I recently served a client`s team who made an installment payment. After the first and second payment, the third and final payment was more than the due payment! I immediately notified him and refunded the extra payment that was made unknowingly because that is the right thing to do! Walt Disney’s brother and partner, Roy E. Disney said, “When your values are clear to you, making decisions becomes easier.” 

Abraham Lincoln once shared a story about the dilemma of an old farmer who had a very large shade tree towering over his house: “It was a majestic-looking tree, and apparently perfect in every part – tall, straight, and of immense size – the grand old sentinel of his forest home. One morning, while at work in his garden, he saw a squirrel [run up the tree into a hole] and thought the tree might be hollow. He proceeded to examine it carefully and, much to his surprise, he found that the stately [tree] that he had [valued] for its beauty and grandeur to be the pride and protection of his little farm was hollow from top to bottom. Only a rim of sound wood remained, barely sufficient to support its weight. What was he to do? If he cut it down, it would [do great damage] with its great length and spreading branches. If he let it remain, his family was in constant danger. In a storm it might fall, or the wind might blow it down, and his house and children be crushed by it. What should he do? As he turned away, he said sadly: “I wish I had never seen that squirrel.”

Dr. John Maxwell observed that one of the reasons many people struggle with integrity issues is that they tend to look outside themselves to explain any deficiencies in character. But the development of integrity is an INSIDE JOB! Integrity is not based on credentials because credentials are transient while character is permanent. Credentials turn the focus to rights while character keeps the focus on responsibilities.  

Integrity is not determined by circumstances because circumstances only come to reveal the lack of integrity as in a fierce wind blowing down the hollow majestic old farmer tree. Integrity must not be confused with reputation because according to Abraham Lincoln, “Character is like a tree, and reputation like its shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.”