As a child I studied the piano. In 11th grade, I practiced all year for the opportunity to participate in my school’s talent show, a highly anticipated event. On the day of the talent show, the phone rang. It was my piano teacher. She called to tell me that one of the judges had fallen ill and the school had asked her to fill in. However, she warned me, if people found out that she was my piano teacher, they would probably disqualify me and not let me compete. My heart sank. Then, she said: “No one has to know that I’m your piano teacher. Just come to the competition and pretend that you don’t know me.” This didn’t sound right to me, yet, I had practiced all year and I wanted to compete. So I did as she suggested: I arrived at the competition, I pretended I didn’t know her, I played my piece better than I had ever played it, and went home.
A week later at the award ceremony, I was elated to win first place! My hard work had paid off. When I got home, however, the phone rang again. It was my teacher, calling to congratulate me. Then she told me how she had voted for me and convinced the other judges to vote for me, too. I couldn’t believe it! I would never know if I truly earned the award. And all because I sacrificed my integrity by going along with something I knew didn’t feel right. I’ve never forgotten that lesson.
I’ve since come to appreciate that our values, especially our core values, are non-negotiable. They represent what we deem most important in life. They are the guiding principles that make impossibly complex decisions easy. They determine our standards of behavior. And we pay a consequence when we betray them, as I did.
Integrity, Honesty, Learning, Adventure, Connection, Self-expression
These are the core values of MasterCoaches.
We invite you to tell a story that illustrates what you most value. It’s a story worth telling.
A gift from your friends Eddie Marmol & David Brown at MasterCoaches