No Fine Print Required
There I was, staring at the clock. It was late at night, or really early in the morning, and I had a meeting the next morning. Sleep was eluding me. Like a surfer, I would almost catch the wave to take me where I needed to go, but then it would dissipate before I could get going.
I tried deep breathing. Prayer. Meditation. I have never sought pharmaceutical help, but I have tried various herbal remedies. That’s when I remembered that I had purchased a new product that had melatonin in it. Melatonin is a hormone that supposedly helps with sleep. There have been times when that has been an aide to me, so I wandered downstairs to try it. Getting back into bed, the exhaustion once again seemed to take over…
Suddenly, I was wide awake. Completely wired as if I had three cups of coffee. Not only was I no longer tired, I had a surge of energy. When that happens, I get up and read a book or do something productive around the house.
A few hours later, I picked up the bottle.
There, in the fine print, I read the words on the label. “Valerian.”
Valerian is an herb that helps some people sleep. I tried that before many years ago. I was one of the small percentage of people who don’t react with sleep, but in the opposite way. Apparently, this pill had a nice dose of it mixed with the melatonin.
How often do we read the fine print? How many times do you see an asterisk and read that footnote?
Nothing is more important than our character. A reputation or personal brand built without character inevitably fades, fails, or fizzles. Integrity is solid. When we have it, our friends can rely on us; our business partners trust us, and even our competitors admire us.
Leadership and Punctuation
When others see you, do they see a hidden asterisk? Do they have to read your fine print? When others watch you, do they put a question mark behind everything you say, not knowing whether it is trustworthy?
Integrity requires no fine print, no disclaimers, no footnotes, no explanations, no question marks, no parenthesis, and no asterisks.
Say what you mean. Do what you say. Let others debate you, question you, and even disagree with you, but don’t ever let them feel like they need to peer closely to read the fine print of your life.