Re: What advice would you give to a young man.
Great advice so far!
Yes - focus on personal integrity and personal accountability. These are the cornerstones of character.
Personal integrity means being true to who you are, even when it's difficult. Be honest. Tell the truth even when people don't want to hear it and even if it prevents your advancement at work. Don't let others force you into a lie. People try this all the time - little white lies that they say in your presence - if you say nothing you are complicit and YOU become a liar. Instead, with tact, correct the statement and clear the air. "That's not how I see it." "I never heard that, and in fact, here's what I heard..."
All ****roaches scurry away when the light is shown upon them. The truth is the light. Always expose the truth, without malice, and objectively. Don't EVER accept blame for being truthful. Defend yourself and your honor. "I'm not the bad guy here for telling the truth. Here are the facts." Assume others are mistaken and not intentionally lying - then your version can be heard because you have no ax to grind.
With regard to personal accountability - that means accepting that your mistakes may cost you. It doesn't mean confessing crimes to the police - always hire a lawyer and let them advise. But for everything else - all the little things in life - accept consequences. Often weak people will lie or withhold the truth to avoid consequences. They'll go along with bad acts - personal or company policy - to avoid reprisal. IMO - it's never worth it to damage your self respect and reputation by being weak and avoiding negative consequences.
Finally - search for the win-win. Nothing motivates duplicitous and low character people like winning and feeling like they put one over in you. Let them believe they've won if it achieves your (ethical) goals. And good people, of course, will accept the win-win and want to work with you in the future. Win-win requires a learned ability to see through the eyes of others what motivates them and what they want. It's related to empathy but isn't the same thing. I use wi -win strategies to make up for lower empathy than many of the females (and a few sensitive males) in my life. To me, empathy is the same thing but without reason or logic. Just pure feeling through someone else. Add reason and motivation - put yourself in their shoes - and you will do well in life.
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