These articles were written and contributed by Scott Rosberg
Theme # 1
This post is part of a series of short posts based on the Team Themes & Quotes in my gift booklet “Senior Salute.” Today’s post is on the theme of “Character/Integrity.” We start with the most important one of all because without Character/Integrity, any other behavioral characteristic that you have or claim to have will be doubted. Integrity is the most important of all the traits that one must have to be successful in life.
Being a person of integrity is especially critical for people in leadership positions or those who aspire to become leaders. People will not follow leaders for very long who do not have integrity because they can’t be trusted. The moment bad character and a lack of integrity are exposed, people start “heading for the hills” away from the supposed leader. This is because while the person said that s/he stood for certain things or certain standards, once it is found out that the person really did not live by those standards, s/he can no longer be trusted to be telling the truth.
However, integrity and great character are required of people in all walks and stages of life, not just leaders. No matter what you do in this world, if you interact with others, you must live with integrity if you want people to trust you. Trust is a key building block of any solid relationship, and trust starts with integrity.
Integrity is basically when your actions and your beliefs are in alignment. When you say you have certain standards and values, and then you go out and live by those standards and values, you show yourself to be a person of integrity and character. You are someone who walks your talk. Your word is good. Your signature has value. People know that what you say and what you do will be one and the same.
However, when you claim certain standards, and then when faced with a choice, choose to act in a way that is not accordance with your standards, you are living a lie, and you are showing yourself to be a person who lacks integrity.
For instance, student-athletes are often asked to sign an athletic contract. Their signature on that athletic contract is saying, “I will live by the standards and rules set forth in this document.” However, the person who lacks integrity signs the contract and then goes out and does whatever s/he wants to do without regard to what the standards and rules have set forth as the proper behavior for them to exhibit.
As you make your way through life, choose to walk the path of great character and integrity. As Alan Simpson once stated, “If you have integrity, nothing else matters. If you don’t have integrity, nothing else matters.”
Theme # 2 – Trust
This post is the second in a series of short posts based on the Team Themes & Quotes in my gift booklet “Senior Salute.” Today’s post is on the theme of “Trust.” Trust is a key piece to any relationship. In the last post, I discussed how important character/integrity are to the relationships that you have with people. I said that character/integrity are absolutely vital for anyone in a leadership position. Integrity is one of the key ingredients to creating trust in others, and leaders have to have the trust of the people they lead.
However, trust is not critical only for leaders. For any relationship you develop with someone, there must be trust for that relationship to thrive. Trust allows massive growth in the relationship. It allows people to speak openly, honestly, and freely with the other person. This is critical for the relationship to grow and develop and become something deep and meaningful.
The moment trust is broken, the relationship breaks down. Open, honest, and clear communication is stunted or halted completely. When people don’t trust one another, they shut themselves off from the other person. A breach of trust stifles any chance for true growth to occur.
So how do you create trust? Bruce Brown of Proactive Coaching has an outstanding booklet called “The Impact of Trust.” In the booklet and the presentation based on the booklet, Brown discusses what I call the 3 C’s of trust – Competence, Caring and Character. To develop trust with others, you must be competent in your field, you must care about others, and you must be a person of character. I always add another C to the mix – Consistency. To create and develop real trust with others, you must demonstrate your competence, caring, and character consistently over time. (I have just scratched the surface here. To delve deep into these concepts, I highly recommend you pick up “The Impact of Trust” at the Proactive Coaching website – www.proactivecoaching.info.)
Who do you trust? Why? When you think about the people you trust, chances are that the 4 C’s mentioned above are key elements to your level of trust in them. Now the big question becomes this – Who trusts you? Are you doing those same things in your relationships that those people you trust are doing in their relationship with you? If not, it is time to start. This is the best way to develop the trust necessary for you to have a trusting, fruitful, meaningful relationship with those people.
“Senior Salute” is a gift booklet for coaches, parents, or anyone else to give to senior athletes at the end of their season. It covers 7 different team themes that have played and will continue to play a role in athletes’ lives – Character/Integrity, Trust, Toughness, Passion, Accountability, Teamwork, & Success. There are quotes from famous (and not-so-famous) people in support of each theme. Finally, the inside front cover is set up for people to write a personal note to their senior. Individual copies of “Senior Salute” cost $6.00, but a 10-pack is only $50.00. You can also purchase gift envelopes to put them in. To purchase “Senior Salute” or to download the “Introduction and First Chapter Theme & Quotes” for Free, go to the Coach with Character website.