“Cowardice asks the question: is it safe? Expediency asks the question: is it politic? Vanity asks the question: is it popular? But conscience asks the question: is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular – but one must take it simply because it is right.” M.L. King.
Ed Gillespie of Futerra refers to this quote in his latest post on the Futerra blog. According to him “it’s time stretch the vision, take a few risks, ignore the lobbyists and defenders of the status ‘business as usual’ quo, implement some potentially unpopular decisions (…) and simply do what’s right. Will ‘Change we can believe in’ or ‘The straight talk express’ deliver this? I’m not so sure, but I live in hope and still have a dream…”
When is the last time you’ve done something because it’s right?
Ed here is talking about measures in order to prevent disastrous climate change. And he’s, well right. But let’s look at your clients. How many of them evaluate your advice or proposals by asking “Is it safe?”, “Is it politic?” or “Is it popular?”. How many of them can honestly say they’ve simply asked “Is it right?” and went for it? How many of us have done that lately?
It’s about integrity, right?
A lot of people have come to believe that “Is it safe, politic or popular?” is the same as “Is it right?” which it isn’t. How do we know? Well, saying somethin is right implies that this outweighs the answers on the three other questions.
Saying “it’s right” is also about integrity. About daring to go all the way and taking the consequences for your actions. It’s about responsibility. Safe, politic and popular is usually about the opposite.
Do something with integrity and you’ll be able to learn from life. It will keep you from putting the blame on others and learn from your mistakes. It will help you to focus and improve. It will enable you to enjoy the success of your efforts to the fullest.