I was inspired to reflect on this very timely subject when I saw it displayed on the marquee at the high school close to my home. Given our world’s current events, it could not have come at a better time and prompted me to do some deep reflection.

Formal education is all about teaching you to think critically and evaluate information, facts and situations with an objective point of view, then sifting through your subjective perspective to find what you understand as truth. Your views and behavior on ethical values influence your personal integrity and the legacy you are building!

If you want more details, examine this list from Texas Tech University where they teach applied ethics. I think of it as an expanded version of the “Golden Rule”: http://www.depts.ttu.edu/murdoughcenter/products/resources/recommended-core-ethical-values.php

Every day we are bombarded with examples of human behavior through media and other sources. An awareness of the degrees of variance in personal, corporate and political integrity is critical, so sharpen your skills of discernment and be prepared. Let this awareness be an opportunity—a catalyst—to create or review your personal framework.

When asked, it is imperative that you communicate your beliefs and how they guide your behavior. Using real-life examples that illustrate your motives, as well as a personal mission statement that clearly articulates your views, can have quite an impact. If you want to develop a personal mission statement, select your top three values from the Texas Tech list mentioned above. Use those to design a brief statement (that could be expanded when necessary) about why you believe they are essential.

For further guidance, check out this link: http://www.depts.ttu.edu/murdoughcenter/products/resources/steps-to-personal-ethical-decision-making.php

Occupational psychologists subscribe to the theory that personal behavior—which, at its core, is motivated by your beliefs—can provide clear insights into your future behavior. Developing a mission statement that reflects your integrity, supported with illustrative behavioral examples, will provide solid insights into who you are and how you operate.

I would strongly encourage you to reflect on examples that speak to your integrity, so that when competitive opportunities arise you will have your resources ready. This approach has effectively resulted in many clients I know getting positive feedback when competing for high-value opportunities.

Here are a few more questions to consider as you work through the process:

  • Can you be taken at your word?
  • Are you authentic in your dealings with others?
  • Can you discern the difference between someone who has integrity and someone who lacks it?
  • Why is the path to how results are attained important?
  • Are you living your life in such a way that the legacy you build will be a source of pride to your heirs?
  • Are you a role model for others?
  • Do you know how to ask challenging questions when you suspect a lack of integrity?
  • What are your views on holding individuals accountable?

Having a personal mission statement demonstrates keen self-awareness. Let it be a dynamic aspect of yourself worth sharing when the need arises. It’s another piece of your preparedness for the future that will serve you well.