A few days ago, I bought an expensive product, because it promised to help me promote my products in a new way and with some automation. I thought that the concept was good — and I still do.
But once I got the product, I started reading the instructions. They included creating “fake” Google accounts, including making up a name and choosing a profile picture from the Internet. It recommended deleting cookies in your browser before changing from one account to another so that Google didn’t know you had multiple accounts. Then you had to use that fake identify to create accounts on multiple social media platforms.
It made me feel pretty uncomfortable.
I started thinking why I felt so strongly about this, since there were obviously others who had no problem with it. (I could read what others were doing in the private Facebook group.)
I remembered something that happened many years ago, when I was 15 years old. I’m telling this as I remember it, but upon doing some research, I’ve discovered that a major detail is wrong. But in this case, the detail isn’t important, the principle is.
In the summer of 1967, my family traveled from New York to Montreal to visit Expo 67, a World’s Fair. I remember a few things, like eating Belgian waffles for the first time and visiting some of the national exhibits.
My father wanted to see some paintings that had been brought over. I remember this as being Spanish paintings (but it appears that Spain didn’t have an exhibit). We paid to enter the pavilion and wandered around. Then we discovered that you had to pay extra to see the paintings. There was no notice of this outside and my father was incensed.
Not only didn’t we pay to see the paintings, but when we went outside, my father went up and down the line of people waiting, telling them not to go in because of the extra hidden charge. My mother and I wanted to melt into the pavement, we were so embarrassed! But my father stood up to his principles and said what he thought was right. He made sure that others wouldn’t be cheated.
That stuck with me.
And today, I asked for a refund of that product.
Do you speak with integrity?
I doubt that it’s possible to always speak with perfect integrity. Most of us have experienced times when we were asked to lie or keep silent when we should have spoken out. It’s hard; that’s why I admire whistle blowers so much.
But as speakers and presenters, it’s important that we speak with integrity, neither lying nor omitting the truth. Have you ever been in an uncomfortable situation–in which you weren’t sure what to say? Leave a comment!