To be honest means to do what you know in your heart is right. Sometimes being truly honest means giving up something you want in exchange for doing the right thing. Leadership means being your own person and when you earn a reputation for integrity, values and honesty, you’re likely to be a respected leader within the company. Leaders who have gained success pay attention to the inner voice that provides their moral compass, and they learn to guide their conduct according to the virtues and principals that flow from their moral identities. Ed McMahon once said, “Honesty is the most single most important factor having a direct bearing on the final success of an individual, corporation, or product.” Webster says that the definition of honesty is the ability to be truthful and having freedom from deceit.
Here is a story about an elderly carpenter who is ready to retire. He tells his employer-contractor of his plans to leave the house building business and live a more leisurely life with his wife enjoying his extended family. He would miss the paycheck, but he needed to retire. They could get by. The contractor was sorry to see his good worker go and asked if he could build just one more house as a personal favor. The carpenter said yes, but in time it was easy to see that his heart was not in his work. He resorted to shoddy workmanship and used inferior materials. It was an unfortunate way to end his career. When the carpenter finished his work and the builder came to inspect the house, the contractor handed the front-door key to the carpenter. "This is your house," he said, "my gift to you." What a shock! What a shame! If he had only known he was building his own house, he would have done it all so differently. Now he had to live in the home he had built none too well.
Think of yourself as the carpenter. Think about your house. Each day you hammer a nail, place a board, or erect a wall. Build wisely. It is the only life you will ever build. Even if you live it for only one day more, that day deserves to be lived graciously and with dignity. We all must not forget that life is a do-it-yourself project. Your life tomorrow will be the result of your attitudes and the choices you make today.