Leader, You Get to Set the Price of this ONE Thing.

Leader, You Get to Set the Price of this ONE Thing.
Thomas Thompson
April 12, 2022
min read

Recently I spent a week fly fishing in Montana with a group of men.

We spent the week sleeping on fold out beds, eating unhealthily, standing in freezing rivers, and having a number of near-misses with rainbow trout.

I loved every moment of it.

What I MOST loved were the conversations with these men.  In the boat, on the river, around the table.

We spoke about parenting, aging, the chapters of our lives, and even what makes a great pair of socks.

One conversation however, stuck with me.  

It was with a lifelong friend of mine–Lance–who told me something his father told him..

Lance was a young man working at a restaurant, and when it came time to do his taxes, he asked his dad for help.

As he was filling in his form, his dad asked, “What about your tips?  Where are they being reported?”

Lance said, “Dad, we split tips out of a tip jar so we don’t count those, its like free money.”

Then his dad said this:

Son, integrity will NEVER save you money.  It will almost always cost you money.  But whatever that dollar value you are willing to compromise on will become the price of your integrity.

And then his dad proceeded to walk Lance through the painful task of estimating his tips over the previous year… “How much did you usually make at lunch?”  “What was the dinner tip take like?”

Lance never forgot that lesson.  And now I won’t either.

Leaders, what is YOUR price?

The price of your integrity is YOUR choice to make.  It is never an accident.  No one ever says, “oops, I fell into integrity.”  

And at the center of the word integrity is inteGRITy.  Grit.

That is because the decision, the choice, is GOING to cost you. It will take grit.

I’ve been advising a leader on a political campaign over the last year. And he is one of the most integrity-filled men I have ever met.  Numerous times during his campaign we faced unfair attacks, mud-slinging, and outright lies.  And the team around him often pushed him to push back, to fight back, to pick up few handfuls of mud and sling them back.  After all, it’s just politics.

He refused.  Even at the risk of losing the election, he would not take the shortcut.  He remained committed to showing that an integrity focused campaign could be run.

Did it cost him?  Certainly.  It cost him votes, it cost him support, it cost him money that other candidates were more than willing to take.

As it turned out, people in our city were hungry for integrity in their leader.  And he won the election.  But more importantly, he refused to lower the price on his integrity.

Pointed question:  Where are you right now putting a price on your integrity?

  • Because it saves you money.
  • Because it makes things easier.
  • Because that is “just how it works.”

Pointier question:  Is this the price you want to place on your integrity?

You cannot control the outcomes.  You cannot control the market price of stocks, gas, or housing.

But you 100% get to control the price you put on your integrity.  

Don’t sell it–or you–so cheaply.  Set that bar high.  Make your name worth it.

A good name is to be CHOSEN rather than great riches.  Proverbs 22:1

Thomas helps leaders navigate what’s next in their leadership, lives, and teams.  If he can serve you in this, reach out to him HERE.

Photo by Jesper Aggergaard on Unsplash

I founded Thompson Leadership to come alongside leaders like you. Together, we will unpack your unique leadership, unearth your biggest challenge, and create an action plan to close the gap between where you are and where you want to be.
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