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Four Characteristics of Leadership Integrity

This means keeping your word and following through

In May of 2005, Andy Roddick, one of the top tennis players in the world at the time, was a favorite to win the Italian Masters tournament. Early on, Roddick’s skill was on full display: He beat his opponent Fernando Verdasco in the first set. He was winning the next set, too; on the match point, the referee called Verdasco’s second serve as out and declared Roddick the winner. The crowd cheered.

However, Roddick looked closely at the mark on the court where the serve had been called out and did not believe the call was correct. Under no formal obligation to tell the truth, Roddick informed the referee of the perceived error and asked for the point to be replayed. He returned to his side of the net, ready to play on, only wanting to win if the victory was fair and square. Verdasco won the replayed point, and then the match. A breath away from victory, Roddick lost in an upset, going from being a tournament favorite to an early elimination.

Although Roddick lost his shot at the big prize that day, he gained something arguably more valuable—he cemented his reputation as a man of integrity. In a single moment, he demonstrated the strength of his character for posterity and inspired fans with his commitment to honesty. Future opponents and referees alike could rest assured: here was a trustworthy sportsman.

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