When professionals demonstrate a lack of integrity

By: Lori T. Williams, Owner/Managing Attorney of Your Legal Resource

I’m surprised and disappointed when I encounter a lack of integrity from a professional within the business or legal community.  I’m talking about when a well meaning professional claims they’ll do something, and then “forgets” or “gets busy” and never gets around to it.  It’s the little things that make a good first impression and a positive lasting impression:

  1. Being on time with meetings or phone calls;
  2. Following up with the promised action or information, in a timely manner;
  3. Listening to the other person, and not dominating the discussion;
  4. Sharing knowledge, without arrogance;
  5. Showing appreciation and genuine care and concern for the other person.


It’s the little things that prevent some professionals from ever getting on my “A” List of service providers or potential referral partners.  I figure if they can’t honor their word with me regarding a simple meeting or phone call, how can they possibly handle a referral of a client or an introduction to a referral partner?


We all need to self examine from time to time.  If you are a professional, ask yourself these questions:

“Am I dazzling my clients, co-workers, and referral partners with my follow-up?”

“Am I the ‘go to’ guy or gal in my network for the product or service I represent?”

“Do I return calls promptly?”

“Do I cancel meetings due to poor time management?”

“Are scheduled calls placed late or forgotten?”

“Am I chronically late for meetings?”


So often people make promises in the moment, that they have no intention of following through on.  I wonder why they even bother to make them in the first place.  Do they think they should?  Do they get giddy in the moment and think this is a really good idea, but it is just too hard to write down and act on?  Or do they think people won’t notice?  They notice, believe me!

I’m certainly not perfect, just in case you think I’m preaching.  However, every phone call and meeting means something to me, and I honor it by showing up and acting on it.  I value the other person enough to be fully present, whether that conversation is for 15 minutes or 90 minutes, and I act on my promises.


Points to ponder and discuss:

-What are your pet peeves when it comes to professionals, business owners, or their employees exhibiting a lack of integrity?

-What “excuses” do others provide that you find intolerable?

-How do you deal with a lack of integrity in others? (Stop interacting with them, give them another chance depending on the seriousness of the issue, confront them, etc.?)

-Have you continued to give someone another chance, only to have them continue to let you down or those you referred to them? If so, how did you ultimately resolve that situation?

Lori T. Williams

Lori T. Williams is an attorney based in Birmingham, MI, licensed in 1989.  As owner of a legal referral business called Your Legal Resource, PLLC, Lori personally assists individuals and small businesses in need of legal advice or representation in Metro Detroit by connecting them with the right legal specialist to meet their needs.