I like to win! I enjoy success. I also know there are things more important than always winning and always succeeding.
For me, and I know some will call me naive because of this, but for me how you win is just as important as winning itself. Success at the expense of your integrity isn’t really success at all. Now before you ask me to define success let me say that the definition of success is a very personal thing. But no matter your own definition of success if you cheated, lied or stole your way to it then your “success” is nothing to be proud of.
No where in the Bible does it say that money is evil. What it does say is that the love of money is the root of all evil. Loving money, or the success the comes with it, at the expense of anything or anyone cannot be true success.
In the hit 1987 movie Wall Street, the character Gordon Gekko made a speech where he said “Greed is Good.” The line became famous but too many people apparently forgot that they were watching a movie. They believed the line as if it were straight out of scripture.
It was frankly a line that many people wanted to believe. It allowed them to balance unethical behavior with the “fact” that greed was good.
Well let’s set the record straight. Greed is not good. Unethical behavior is not good. Trading your integrity for the appearance of success is not good. Winning at all cost is not winning at all.
Winston Churchill once said that “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”
If you truly want success then don’t try to balance how much of your integrity you’re willing to sacrifice to have it. Instead balance what you get with what you give. Don’t just work to make a living, work to make a life.
I’ll never forget what my 7th grade teacher once told me. His name was Cyril Paul. 7th grade was a while ago for me and I don’t remember many, if any, of my teachers who came before or after him. To say he was an impactful teacher would be an understatement. What he told me was that “what” I did with my life would be of little consequence when compared with “how” I did it.
The fact is that too many times in my life I have forgotten those words. The result has never been anything to make me proud of myself. But I always eventually come home to those words to get myself back in balance.
I’m afraid too many of our world “leaders” either never had those words spoken to them or they have completely forgotten them.
“How” matters. It matters in everything you say and do in your life.
Be a person of integrity. If your leaders are “win at all cost” kind of leaders then lead up and hold them accountable for “how” they achieve their success. Whether they are leaders in your company, your church or your government make sure you hold them to very high standards.
Always remember “how” matters for you as well so hold yourself to those very high standards too.