Descision Based on Integrity

Posted by on Oct 18, 2012 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Just a couple of days ago, I interpreted at a meeting between Kazakhstan Minister of Oil and Gas, Under Secretary of Energy, and senior executives of major oil companies. It s been over ten years now since I started interpreting at the Head of State level, and over 20 since I first came to the US with $200 in my pocket and a visa that did not allow me to work.

I vividly remember my very first interpreting assignment. I was then the first Soviet graduate student at the University of Kentucky. For those of you who don t know, Lexington is considered the horse capital of the world, and even the Queen of England visits there from time to time. A Russian businessman came to Lexington to buy horses, and he needed an interpreter. He offered $300 for the weekend, which seemed like SO MUCH money given that my only income then was a fellowship of $400 a month.

I meet my client at his hotel, and he says:

Do you know how to iron?

Yes, of course, I say puzzled.

Go to my room, he says, handing me the key, Iron my pants. I need them for the meeting.

I wasn t hired to do that, I say quietly.

I don t remember exactly what his answer was. I do remember it was loud and obnoxious, and had something to do with how important he was back in Russia. This was just short six months after I left communist Russia, and I took a lot of pleasure in saying, It doesn t mean anything to me. He got really upset and told me that I was fired.

Ahhh, all the good food I could have bought with those $300 that I just gave up! I am walking to my car as slowly as I can. He catches up to me, and asks to come back. After all, there was not another person in the whole state of Kentucky at the time who could have interpreted for him.

This decision was scary, and it was based on integrity. I have made many such decisions in my life. Some were less obvious than this one. Some meant being laid off, or losing a client. Often these decisions did not seem very logical, or practical, but the end, they always produced great results. And I can t say that all my decisions were based on integrity, but enough to create a life I love.

And this is what I do professionally: help people create the lives they love by taking a stand for who they are. Results thru Integrity is a tagline for my coaching practice.

How about you? Do you know what you stand for? Do you know what s worth fighting for? Do you know what s next for you? Do you have a story to share when you did or did not make a decision based on integrity. Let s hear it!




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