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What Difference Does An Hour Make?

Are your excuses eroding your integrity?

by Mike Harrison

“Mike, I’ll have to get back to you with a decision next week,” he said for the third time in a month after I had initiated another phone call.  Excuses, we’ve all heard them…they’ve almost become an acceptable part of our culture.  Is that ok?

It’s not if we’re people of integrity.  We want our word to mean something, don’t we?  Actually our word will mean something whether we want it to or not.  If we keep it, it means that we are person of integrity—if we don’t keep our word, it means that we’ve lost our integrity.  Pretty simple.

When I speak of integrity, I’m not speaking of perfection.  We all can make mistakes, let things slip—but how many times do we make the same mistake over and over again before it’s chronic abuse of the people we place our trust? 

Andrew Carnegie said, “No amount of ability is of the slightest avail without honor.” In other words, our talents and abilities will never outperform our commitments we make and keep with our mouths.

So what do you do about it?  I’ve found it helpful to take notes during a conversation or at the end of an interaction with a colleague.  If I’ve made any commitments, I put those commitments in my planner and schedule the task(s) to be done in my calendar with a due date.  You and I just won’t do it without a due date!  Make sure that every commitment you make has an agreed upon due date.

The eLife Planning System is a great accountability system for building your integrity.  By taking an hour every week to do planning around your life’s goals, relational goals and your future dreams—you’ll find that you’re actually feeding your integrity level.

Please don’t allow one more excuse to erode your level of integrity.  Do what you need to do…and do it today.  And if you need to set an appointment in your calendar—to do life planning—why not do that right now?

Mike Harrison is head faculty coach with


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