ASA 24 | Integrity


Leaders become powerful when they lead by example. Hence, a change in one’s self is the first step to making a massive revolution or a virtuous impact. Alex reveals his controversial definition of integrity as he dives into its value with a short story about Mahatma Gandhi’s leadership. Being integrated with your actions results to people anticipating what your behavior will be like in certain situations.

Learn how it can cause a change in others and yourself as you develop habits that become unconsciously competent. Also, discover the fastest and easiest way to attract premium clients, and the difference between being rich versus being wealthy.

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How To Influence Like Gandhi

In this episode you’ll learn three key insights which are critical to making you a highly skilled ethical influencer. You’re going to discover why experience is not the best teacher. That’s a lie. Experience is the only teacher. You’ll learn why integrity is the most critical element of ethical influence.

I know you’ve heard that word a lot but I’m going to analyze it from a different perspective and then you’ll learn why the power of anticipation causes behavior-changing tension. Lean in and read carefully because this episode could have a significant impact on how you can quickly and easily win the hearts of others.

Mahatma Gandhi: The Epitome Of A True Leader

No one is required to change more than those of us who present ourselves as leaders of educational reform and transformation. That may sound a little woo-woo or even corny but if you are ethically influencing others, you are reforming them. You’re causing permanent change. You are transforming them.

Why do you have to have a change in yourself before you can change others? It’s because you are required as a leader and as an ethical influencer to model the behavior you want to adapt.

That’s called projection in a positive way, and no one is better known for this than Mahatma Gandhi. He started as a lawyer and he ended up becoming a thought leader. There’s a story of a woman in India who was upset that her son was eating too much sugar. In other words, too many sweets. No matter how much she chided him, he continued to satisfy his sweet tooth which was annoying to her and satisfying to him.

Totally frustrated, she decided to take her son to see the great Mahatma Gandhi and at this time he was in a toga making his own clothes and he was a great thought leader in India. She approached the great Gandhi respectfully and she said, “Sir, my son eats too much sugar. It’s not good for his health. Will you please advise him to stop eating it?” Gandhi listened to the woman carefully and turned and spoke to her son, “Go home and come back in a couple of weeks.”

The woman looked perplexed at Gandhi and wondered why he had not asked the boy to stop eating sugar earlier. She took the boy by the hand and went home. What I’m not telling you is she had waited in line because it was a huge throng of other people wanting advice from Gandhi. She had waited in line for hours and the line went back hundreds, in some cases, thousands of people.

She was a little frustrated, but she took the boy home because this was the great Gandhi. A couple of weeks later she returned, the boy in hand. Gandhi motioned for them to come forward as he recognized them.

[bctt tweet=”If you’re integrated with what you say and do what you say you’re going to do, then you have integrity.” via=”no”]

He looked directly at the boy and said, “Boy, you should stop eating sugar. It’s not good for your health.” The boy nodded and promised he would never continue his habit any longer.

The boy’s mother again was perplexed like a couple of weeks earlier, but this time she turned to Gandhi and asked, “Why didn’t you tell him that two weeks ago when I brought him here to see you?” Gandhi smiled and he said, “My dear mother, a couple of weeks ago, I was still eating sugar myself.” Whether this story is true or not, it doesn’t matter to me because Gandhi lived with integrity. You’ve heard that word and integrity is nothing that is good or bad.

Living With Integrity

Integrity is something that is integrated. If you’re integrated with what you say and you do what you say you’re going to do, then you have integrity. He lived with such integrity. He would not allow himself to give advice unless he was living it by himself. I feel the same way in training. I have to go through everything I teach my students.

When I’m training in a curriculum whether it’s on stage or through a virtual event, I go through the process, fill in the blanks and do several trial runs. It takes me hours to produce the curriculum, but I go through the process to make sure I’m integrated with the student. Is that extra work? It is, but in over 25 years of training and teaching in digital marketing, no one has ever accused me of being light on content.

It’s quite the opposite and I probably go a few extra miles than I need to deliver content even if it’s something that’s going to last several minutes in an interview. It’s worthwhile because you never know when you can touch someone else to have a permanent and real change in their life. This is worthy of your reflection because Socrates once said, “The greatest way to live with honor in this world is to be the person we pretend to be.” You don’t hear this quite a lot.

If you want true change, if you want massive change, then you can’t ethically influence others and give genuine advice without living into that advice first and this is rare. It’s rare in politics. It’s rare in business.

It’s even rare with education. Many times, professors who gained tenure at a university don’t live with the same level of hunger or need to learn and relearn because they’re off the hook, they have tenure.

Anticipation Causes Change

The greatest way to express ethical influence which is what this podcast is all about, it’s not only influencing others but ethically doing it. The greatest expression or the highest expression is through integrity or trust. I have a controversial definition of integrity because I believe that Gandhi had integrity, but I also believe that Hitler had integrity. I believe that JFK, one of our former presidents, had integrity. I also believe that Stalin had integrity.

ASA 24 | Integrity

Integrity: No one is required to change more than those of us who present ourselves as leaders of educational reform and transformation.


Integrity is not good or bad. A dog can have integrity. It’s not only what you say but it’s what you can anticipate from someone. If I lived during the time of Hitler, I wouldn’t want to be anywhere near his vicinity. I know what he was capable of or at least I’ve read about it and seen movies about it. If I lived during the time of Gandhi, I’d want to be in his vicinity so I could learn as much as I could.

Both had integrity. Both did what they said they were going to do. Both we’re predictable but let’s take a dog. If you have a dog who sometimes bites you and sometimes licks the palm of your hand, that dog is out of integrity. It cannot be trust worthy.

You can’t trust a dog that sometimes does one thing and sometimes that’s something else. You can’t anticipate their action. If the dog is integrated, always is biting then you don’t put your hand anywhere near the vicinity of the dog.

I don’t want to have anything to do with that dog. If the dog is friendly like my dog, Minnie, that no matter what she’ll come up and lick my face, my palms, my hands and everything else. That dog has integrity because she’s always friendly. She doesn’t even growl if I take her food away. I wanted to see what she’s capable of when I first got her. She’s a rescue dog and she’s a service dog as well and she has a lot of integrity.

Who do you know who has integrity? Going back to Gandhi as it deals with ethical influence, he said, “My life is my message.” This guy was an attorney at first and he continued to work towards peace between Hindus and Muslims in his native and mother country, India. Living with integrity like many other spiritual leaders before him and after him, Gandhi was assassinated in Delhi in the month of January 1948 by a Hindu fundamentalist, who probably also had integrity.

That person was integrated against Gandhi’s teachings. What I love most about Mahatma Gandhi is he was a leader from behind which I’ve talked about in a previous episode. Whether it’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., John F. Kennedy, Jesus or take any leader, many leaders have been assassinated because of the level of integrity they brought with their beliefs. I’m not asking you to have much integrity where you become controversial and someone takes you out.

Experience Is The Only Teacher

I’m asking you to understand that integrity is not about right or wrong. It’s about consistency and the ability of other people to anticipate your behavior. Experience is not the best teacher. Experience is the only teacher. If you have kids, you know it’s true. If you have teenagers, you really know it’s true. By experiential learning you can empathize and live into the other person’s experience that you’re teaching or attempting to influence.

Many times, I have people come up to me and say, “Alex, how do I attract premium clients? How do I get high-end clients?” I asked them, “Do you have any?” They say, “No, I don’t.” “The fastest and easiest way to learn how to attract high-end or premium client is to become one. I’m more than happy to explore whether you would be an ideal one for me,” and then they laugh.

[bctt tweet=”If you can anticipate things, then you can see the future, live into the future, and have vision that you can actually step into.” via=”no”]

They say, “You’re trying to sell me.” I say, “You’re right. I am trying to sell you and ethically influence you to know that if you’re not a high-end client of anyone then you’re not going to be able to attract any because you don’t know what it’s like. The hardest client to get is the first. It’s like the front end of any sale is much harder than the backend. There’s no relationship there.

Once people come in to whatever your front end looks like, whether it’s a seminar, a webinar or if it’s a discovery session, the backend becomes a lot easier if you’re doing the right work and if you live with integrity. That’s why integrity or being integrated is such a critical element of ethical influence. It’s over-spoken. It’s misunderstood. If you look at the root definition of what the word means, it means that you are consistent.

You’ll feel better about yourself and you’ll wake up easier in the morning and other people will be a lot friendlier toward you because they can anticipate what your behavior will be like. The Alexism for this episode is one of my favorites. I say this onstage all the time, no matter what language people speak when I’m teaching whether it’s Mandarin, Portuguese, Spanish, Italian or Polish, I speak in many different countries, six different continents in fact.

Every continent except for Antarctica and I guess if I spoke penguin, I could teach down there too. My Alexism for this episode is that experience is not the best teacher. Experience is the only teacher. When I teach that from stage I’ll say, “Experience is not the best teacher. Experience is,” and then the audience fills in the blank, “The only teacher.” Let’s go back to the power of anticipation and why it’s important because it does involve experience and integrity.

Anticipation, imagine that as a verb, “I anticipate, therefore I am.” If you can anticipate things, you can see the future, you can live in the future, you have a vision that you can actually step into. Anticipation eliminates the curse of what most entrepreneurs and business owners suffer from. That is low self-worth and low self-confidence when the money is not coming in.

They’re anticipating the money coming in but they haven’t put things together with the right recipe and priority. They’re not productive like we talked about in the previous episode in order to maintain that self-worth and self-confidence. I remember when I lost my first $242,000 which I didn’t have. It was given to me by my grandparents. It’s a story that I told in a previous episode. I lost a lot of self-worth because as difficult as it is to admit, money was and still is attached to my self-worth.

My self-confidence is attached to the money that I can anticipate coming in. When I have recurring income, I can anticipate what my next month’s income is going to be. That’s why a company that’s recurring income-based is worth many more multiples. I’ve heard it’s as much as seven to ten times worth more than an episodic income-based company where the sales are coming in as a result of your episodic discovery sessions or online traffic coming into a shopping cart and ordering from you.

If you have continuity, then you’re anticipating what the revenue will be. When you have an exit through that company that’s why it’s worth so much more, because the buyer is buying cashflow and not a company with assets. Anticipation is the antidote to uncertainty. When there’s less uncertainty in your life, you are a much stronger ethical influencer.

ASA 24 | Integrity

Integrity: Integrity is not about right or wrong. It’s about consistency and the ability of other people to anticipate your behavior.


A final word for this episode, there’s a big difference in my world between wealth and between riches, being wealthy versus being rich. Being rich is having a lot of money beyond your debt, a lot of money in the bank. What happens when you die? You can’t attach your bank account to your grave. Rich is good and having riches and developing riches is awesome and I’ve loved doing it. I enjoy doing it and I still do it.

Wealth is different. Wealth is what’s left when all the money or riches are gone. Mahatma Gandhi was wealthy, but he wasn’t rich. Mother Teresa of Calcutta was wealthy but not rich. Nelson Mandela, as far as I know, he wasn’t rich, but he was wealthy. Dr. Martin Luther King, I don’t think he was rich not that I know, but he was wealthy.

Albert Schweitzer and many other thought leaders who weren’t rich let’s say like Steve jobs were or Bill Gates is or Warren Buffet, JK Rowling or Oprah Winfrey. It’s nice when you go to for two for two, when you’re both rich and wealthy because your legacy is carried on by your wealth. With wealth, it’s more than your bank account. It’s your relationship capital. It’s the relationships that you have. It’s your knowledge and wisdom.

When they say he or she has a wealth of wisdom or knowledge or a wealth of friends, that’s what they mean, but rich is only a part of it. I will look at being rich as a subset of wealth and the reason I bring that up is if you chase wealth first and getting rich second, you will be a lot more confident and your self-worth will improve, at least it has for me.

A quick review about the insights you and I discovered in this episode or maybe you rediscovered them. Number one, experience is not the best teacher. Experience is the only teacher. Next, you learned why integrity is the most critical element of becoming an ethical influencer. Integrity is trust expressed at the highest level. Finally, you learned why the power of anticipation, anticipating someone else’s behavior could causea change in others and yourself.

You develop habits that become unconsciously competent. These insights can only work for you if you work them.

Speaking of reviews, it’s time to give me your biggest takeaway or a-ha moment you experienced in this episode. If you’ve done it on iTunes, then write it on an index card. I want you to keep that somewhere safe. If you haven’t given me a review, then here’s what I want you to do as this episode comes to an end. I want you to go to and I want you to go there and type in your biggest takeaway or a-ha moment.

We call it a pack-my-bag moment in our seminars where we could pack our bags and leave because it was valuable. You do it in the review section of iTunes and when you do that, iTunes will ask you to rate the episode. I hope I’ve earned five stars from you. It’ll mean a lot to me. If you’ve done this for me, thank you so much because my goal is to get dozens of five star reviews every single week.

[bctt tweet=”Anticipation is the antidote to uncertainty. When there’s less uncertainty in your life, you are a much stronger ethical influencer.” via=”no”]

With getting more subscriptions and getting more reviews and getting more ratings then it brings All Selling Aside to the top of the charts in my category. I believe there are a lot of people who need to get access to this training. It is 25 years of sales and marketing know-how delivered every single week delivered to you on Mondays.

Please subscribe. Go ahead and declare your one big takeaway in the iTunes review section by visiting This will take a few minutes out of your day whether you do it in iTunes or an index card if you’ve already given me your review. If you write what you’ve learned, it’s a declaration. It’s not an affirmation. It’s public and it could provide you a lifetime’s worth of learning.

That’s why I come up with these stories. That’s why I come up with this content week after week. I enjoy doing it and I hope you enjoy reading. One final gift in honor of this 24th episode of the show is a complimentary copy of my book Alexisms: Useful Lessons from a Recovering Serial Entrepreneur that was me. You can download this instantly at no cost at

If you prefer to pay for the Kindle or softcover version, then be my guest and go to and get your copy but you can get it for free for the digital version. That does it for this episode. I hope our paths cross again next time for All Selling Aside, the show dedicated to making an ethical influence within your reach so that you can achieve and even exceed your sales potential. Please, do whatever it takes to join me next episode because our topic is going to be Why Wisdom Crushes Knowledge.

It’s going to be a good one. As I’ve done every episode, I encourage you to invite a friend or a study buddy not only to subscribe but to learn with them because learning with someone else is a lot more fun and I believe there’s no such thing as a self-made success. I can’t wait to connect with you next time. All good wishes.

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