May 8, 2014

Integrity Hates Excuses

For the 10 years I lived in Wichita I took care of my own yard. And when I say "took care" this is probably a gross understatement. I have friends that would say I was a bit obsessed with my lawn. One of my friends even called me the "Lawn Nazi". I would argue. But it's true. 

We moved into our house Memorial Day weekend of 1999. When I started talking about putting grass in, I was quickly scolded and reeducated by friends that NO, you cannot put fescue grass in at the beginning of summer. OK. Great. What am I going to do with this yard until fall? 

My home was the very last one built in the neighborhood. It was the only one without grass. Which makes it all the more painful when I tell you that I spent the entire summer raking, nurturing, prepping, and "taking care" of my big fat lawn of dirt. That's right. I spent an entire summer preparing that soil. And while I'm sure numerous neighbors drove by and had a good laugh at the guy standing out in the heat, raking his dirt, it all paid off eventually. I laid that fescue sod down in late September - rolled it, watered it, fed it, winterized it - and by the next fall I had the greenest, thickest, nicest yard around. And it stayed that way the entire 8 1/2 years I lived in that house.


5 years ago we moved to Madison. Here in North Alabama, most people have Bermuda grass in their yards. I knew (and still know) nothing about Bermuda grass except that I hate it. I have no idea how to care for it. It's only green 4 months out of the year. It's horrible. (It doesn't feel like grass under your feet; it feels like walking on pick-up sticks.) So I hired a yard company. (Not to mow my grass. I've got that covered. It's the fertilizing, winterizing, and weed killing I'm clueless about.) Actually, I hired them, then fired them. I then hired another company. And now, I'm about to fire them. Why? Because I have weeds.

Currently, at this moment in time, I'm paying someone for weeds.
This is unacceptable all by itself. But what makes it worse for me - and the real reason I'm firing this company - is because every time I complain about the weeds, they don't supply me with solutions or even apologies. All I get is excuses.

If you say you're going to supply something, then supply it with integrity.

If you fail to supply it, make it right with integrity.

You see, integrity hates excuses!

If you have enough people calling your product, your program, or your method into question, then - with integrity - try and recall why you started supplying the product in the first place. If you wanted to assist people in being proud of their lawn, then get back to that place. If you simply wanted to make money, then don't lose a minute of sleep wondering why you're being fired and having a blogpost written about you.

Friends, I really truly believe we've come to a place where integrity almost shocks people, as if we've forgotten what it looks like and can hardly recognize it anymore. 

So, if you want to shock people, one way to do it is to have integrity.
Be who you say you are.
Do what you say you're going to do.
Either that, or get fired and be replaced.

In closing, here's a bit of irony for you. The company whose products I used for 10 years to successfully take care of my own lawn is the same company I'm getting ready to fire for not taking care of my lawn.

Has someone shocked you with their integrity lately?
Would love to hear about it.
Let's tell the stories of those who are living it out!

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