A short leadership story about integrity!



A short leadership story about integrity!

Several years ago a struggling builder received a phone call from a very rich real estate guru who happened to be a good friend of his parents. The real estate guru asked the struggling builder to build him a house according to the blue prints he would submit to him on a piece of property that he had just picked up. The piece of property was at the edge of town right up against a beautiful wooded area. He told the struggling builder to spare no expense building the home. He wanted the struggling builder to use nothing but the finest materials and let him know what it costs and he would reimburse him for the materials plus his time.















What the struggling builder didn’t know was that the real estate guru and the builder’s father had been in combat together during the Vietnam War. During their time the builder’s father had saved the real estate guru’s life during an intense battle. The real estate guru had been wounded and the builder’s dad stayed with him while fighting off the enemy until reinforcements arrived. The real estate guru owed his life to the builder’s dad and he would never forget that.

The builder picked up the blue prints from the guru and he was amazed at the size and style of the home. It was actually breath taking. There was nothing plain about this home he was being asked to build. It was eighty-seven hundred square feet of pure luxury. The main living room was designed with a thirty-two foot vaulted ceiling with a fire place that you would normally find in a luxury ski resort. The kitchen was designed with built in state of the art appliances.

A Short Leadership Story About Integrity!

As the builder continued to look over the plans he became a little jealous and began to think about how he could really profit from building this home. The more he thought about it the more he began to think about how he could cut some corners but charge the guru as though he had not. He would be able to hide the poor quality materials and still charge him for the real thing. The guru would never know the difference for at least a few years and by that time the builder would be long gone.

One of the very first corners the builder took was in the quality and thickness of cement used for the basement foundation and walls. The rebar he used was not to code but who would ever know the difference. When the builder submitted the invoice to the guru for the first phase of the project the guru never questioned a thing. The builder had submitted an invoice charging the guru for grade “A” materials and the builder was actually using the poorest materials available.

A Short Leadership Story About Integrity!

Everything from the water lines to the electrical wiring and studs the builder was cheating the guru by charging him for the best materials but using materials that were extremely low quality. The builder was pocketing the profits and was snickering behind the guru’s back about how stupid he was for not verifying the materials that the builder was actually using. He began thinking to himself that the guru would be lucky if the house would even be safe to live in. He figured it would serve the guru right sense the builder was sure that the guru probably made his fortune from cheating other people.

With every swing of the hammer the builder became more and more jealous of the guru and did everything possible without getting caught to cheat the guru.

After ten weeks the builder had finally finished the home. On the outside the home seemed amazing but underneath the surface was a home barely safe enough to live in, at least for a while. The builder called the guru and informed him that the house was done and tried to schedule a time the guru could inspect the home to see if it met his expectations. The guru stated that would not be necessary and asked if the builder could meet him at his office. The builder told him of course he could.

A Short Leadership Story About Integrity!

When he arrived at the guru’s office the builder’s entire family was present. The builder seemed very surprised and confused.

Once in the guru’s office the guru called the struggling builder over and began to tell the story of how the builder’s father had saved him during the Vietnam War and that the only way the builder’s father would allow him to pay him back was for him to do something for his son, the builder. At that point the guru told the house that he thought he was building for the guru was in fact his. The builder got a sick look on his face at that point and asked the guru to repeat what he had just said. The guru again told the builder that the house was all his free and clear for what his father had done for him!

Thank you and May God bless you!

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