Don't You Wish There Was an Integrity Buzzer?

When I was a kid there was a game designed for kids who wanted to become future doctors called Operation.  While the medical field never called my name, I did play the game more than once.

In Operation, the player takes a set of tweezers that are attached to an electronic buzzer and tries to do surgery, taking little plastic organs and bones out of a goofy looking patient.

The object of Operation was to have steady hands. Touch anything but the desired piece and “bzzzttttt” (buzz sound) ... you got nailed by the buzzer and lost the game.

As leaders, we are hardwired to pursue success. But at what cost?

If I told you that you could have success or you could have integrity, but not both, which would you choose?

Such a hypothetical question forces you to examine your definition of success. If your meaning lands you on “win at all cost,” then I would argue you are really not successful.

Wouldn’t it be great if there was an integrity buzzer that zapped us every time we got just a little off center with our character? Not a big zap. Just a little jolt.

The first sign of a short cut ... bzzzttttt.  Fudge a little on expenses ... bzzzttttt. Do something wrong when no one is looking ... bzzzttttt. I have a feeling an integrity buzzer would keep us all on track.

I encourage you to pursue success. But also pursue integrity. And by all means, if you ever have to choose between the two (and believe me, you will), I challenge you to choose integrity.

Doing so will cause you to like the man or woman you see in the mirror a lot more. And in my book that will make you a true success.

Leadership Begins at Home,


What is your definition of success and how does integrity fit in to your thinking?

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8 years ago

At times when we listen to our conscience it can be that little buzzer going off. Problem is that too often people have learned to ignore it. Also our conscience might be tuned to the wrong things if we have not had people around to get it tuned right... Thanks Randy, I prefer integrity over success anytime...


8 years ago

Thanks for the great comment, Jason!


8 years ago

Our moral compass and the little bzzt sound is called the Holy Spirit.
Gospel of John 16:13
Letter to the Ephesians 4:30-31


8 years ago

Good reminder, Mike. Thanks!


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