Justin Donald Leader

Benefits Professional
  • The Integrity Bus

    Oct 06, 2015

by Justin Leader


In my world I categorize people into two groups.  Those on the bus and those off the bus.  Early in our childhood most of us had to ride a bus to school.  Long before I made the trek a few blocks to my High School, I to waited in line with the rest of the kids to get on the bus.  Back then life was pretty simple.  We were taught to abide by a certain set of guidelines often referred to as “The Golden Rule”.   It amazes me that the underlying belief system of that rule is one that I find lacking in most of today’s adult society.  That being the core value of integrity.

Earlier this year I wrote an article regarding sincerity and intent which can be found here: https://justindleader.com/survival-of-the-sincerest/ .   Ultimately the moral of the story is that most people we interact with can come across as being sincere with only their true intentions being discovered over time.  Given a long enough timeline of a business or personal relationship we come to find whether or not this person is on the “Integrity Bus”.

In my mind, this metaphor becomes a powerful perspective on how I view people.  It comes from a deep seeded need to be a good person and be perceived as such.  I think of being a kid stepping in line with the my schoolmates entering the bus on my way to school, wanting and needing to live by the rule that my Family instilled in me.

Unfortunately and realistically not all people are approaching the world in this matter.  While I caution anyone to not become jaded over time, I do think it is necessary to understand those who are not “on the bus”.  There are two types of individuals that I have encountered so far in my career that I attempt to avoid at all costs.  They are the Leech and the Liar which are defined below.

The Leech – Those who will utilize your skill and expertise with promise of giving something in return.  Only after numerous one sided exchanges will you find that they are essentially using you for knowledge, your product or service with no intention of adding to the equation.

The Liar – Those who are able to look you in the eye, shake your hand make a commitment and blatantly do the opposite.

The bright side is that most of those who are guilty of the above are found out quickly.  Word travels fast in any industry or social circle.  The goal for each of us is to ensure that we are approaching our interactions with the intelligence of an adult, the savvy of a professional, and yet the innocence of a child.  I challenge you, as I do myself, to ask the following of yourself every day. “Am I riding the bus of integrity or am I still standing at the curb with those who lack it?”

Justin D. Leader; www.JustinDLeader.com