What is the Difference Between Integrity and Honesty?

“What are you doing tonight?”
“I don’t know, why?”
“Well, I thought you could help me with…”
“Oh, I forgot I have to bathe the dog tonight, sorry.”

What is it about commitment that makes us tense up? Is it the fear of having to actually do what you say you are going to do? In my Entrepreneurs Organization, I usually end up debating the differences between integrity and honesty. My stance is that you can have integrity without being honest. If you tell me that you’re going to rob a bank, and then you do it, you have integrity. You did what you said you were going to do. But bank robbery? Not really an honest day’s work, right?

I think the fear of commitment relates to having to go back on your word. We have all committed to something that we didn’t really commit to, haven’t we? For instance, those friends on the periphery of our lives that we say we‘ll call and get together for lunch with them. Or those second-tier relatives we swear we won’t wait until the next family wedding or funeral to stay in touch. Yeah, I am guilty of both of those. But overcoming fear of commitment is a big deal. It means that the commitment is something bigger than just words. It means you care that someone will judge your integrity if you fail to do what you said you would do.

Patrick Lencioni, renowned author and speaker on business management believes fear of commitment is one of the dysfunctions in a team. From experience, I know that when I’m part of a team–something bigger than myself that I believe in– I have to overcome my fear of failure. In essence, I have to overcome my fear of committing to something. If I said I was going to do it, and if I’m a good teammate, I’d better do it. If not, I’ve failed in my commitment. Like writing weekly blogs. Sometimes I wish I didn’t say I was going to do it. But since my team’s holding me accountable to my word, here it is. Peace.

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