Define what the word, “integrity” means to you?
“Doing what is right no matter the circumstances”
Often, the situations used to describe monumental moments of integrity are those that changed a life. Some use the example of calling out injustice in front a large group of people or giving their lives for others in the line of duty. Those examples are honorable and noble; they represent some of the greatest men Lambda Chi Alpha has to offer. Integrity is not always in the transformative moments that define the character of an individual. It is a collection of moments that exemplify living integrity in the small moments. Returning the pair of Airpods someone left on a table or showing the person next to you the notes they didn’t get a chance to write before the PowerPoint switched slides. The everyday acts of kindness are what make each of the Lambda Chi Alpha members ones of this virtue.
If there is one person who knows how to live this out in the everyday, it’s Todd Helton (Theta-Zeta, ’93). He lives a life as many do, work during the day and spend time with family at night. He manages others with the constant reminder that it is coupled with the courage it took to stand up to his peers during a chapter meeting. As he says,
“Holding people accountable is hard. It is hard to call out people for behaviors and activities in a situation where the general group is thriving.”
For example, chapters operate on the fact that each member pays their dues by the expected date. Some, however, do not. During his consultant days, Helton stood in front of 100 men to explain that tardy dues where holding them back from a successful chapter. After the dust settled, the chapter invited him back for help. Now, they operate as one of the highest performing chapters within Lambda Chi Alpha.
That conversation forced Helton to understand that doing what was right was better than making friends. That chapter understood that they’re future was in the hands of someone who genuinely cared about their well-being. It took integrity on both sides to ensure that honorable actions were taken. The one who initiated the help, Helton, was the one who went on to become a successful business and family man.
To those who are looking for encouragement to fulfill this duty, Helton has some advice. “Someone has to be willing to step forward and have those conversations. They’re not fun at the time, there can be tension and discomforts, but they will be better off. It may not be better off five minutes after, it may be five months after. It may be the next group of guys who come through the chapter later. But somebody has to set a tone and start riding the ship.”
Never miss a post! Subscribe to our email mailing list!