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INTEGRITY in leadership… often talked about, seldom understood.

How does your Integrity stack up?

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Just before sitting down to write this blog, I was having to question my integrity! Yet again, I have left writing my blog to the last minute! I was telling myself “there is no integrity in that John! Come on lad you promised a blog every two weeks, and you’ve had nearly two weeks… where is it?” Then I reminded myself if the Presidency spans a full 4 years, I can be in integrity with my blogging so long as I honour my promise to produce within 2 weeks.

And that’s when the idea for this blog hit me, you see it’s not as simple as that. As you can see Integrity has two meaning;

Integrity has two meanings

integrity

/ɪnˈtɛɡrɪti/

noun

  1. The quality of being honest and having strong moral principles. “A person of complete integrity.”
  2. The state of being whole and undivided. “Upholding territorial integrity and national sovereignty.”

To be “in” integrity, you must meet both criteria. Just getting the blog published on time would mean I technically met the first criterium, but it is no guarantee I would have met the second. 

Would the blog itself have integrity? Would it deliver the reader value for the time spent reading? Would it be whole and not some thrown together afterthought?  

Be Predictable, even if that means you’re always unpredictable!

Integrity is integral to trust, and trust is integral to relationships and relationship are integral to achieving any mission greater than yourself integrity matters! Let’s take a closer look at each of these definitions.

The quality of being honest and having strong moral principles. “A person of complete integrity.”

What does it mean to be “honest and have strong moral principles”? I recently participated in discussion with nine other top coaches. The subject was integrity, and it was noted the meaning of integrity and its application was equally relevant to Quakers as it is to Mafioso

That brings into the discussion the question of good/bad, right/wrong. 

Just because a Mobster is committed to his or her criminal family and its associated code of conduct, does it mean they lack integrity? Conversely, does a Quaker automatically have integrity based on the lifestyle they have chosen? Neither statement is automatically true or false…it depends on your frame of reference. AND it is a reason not to judge!

What if I’m a Criminal?

Being a successful mobster requires you to do what a mobster must do. To act according to your declared intent regardless of other perspectives of the morality of your actions. You are therefore being honest with yourself, your family and displaying strong moral principles in acting on that intent. This is not a “morality argument” it is merely looking at integrity in action. Likewise, if you declare yourself a Quaker and fail to honour your commitment to those principles, arguably, you are not being honest. Whilst you may have publicly acceptable morals and principles, are they strong? 

Obviously, I am going to extremes to illustrate INTEGRITY. No matter what your goals, ambitions or background integrity is vital to success. If you intend to enrol others in your mission, you will need to gain their trust; to do this, you must have integrity. You need to BE who you say you are. Your Actions will then naturally align with who you are Being consistently. That’s not to say you won’t have a slip-up or two, you’re human so you will, and you will clean up quickly. YOUR people will learn they can bank on you. In simple terms to meet this criterium of integrity, just remember “Say what you’ll do and do what say.”

NOTE: It is always easier to act in integrity IF are first being Authentic (Check out my last blog here)

Structural Integrity

The state of being whole and undivided. “Upholding territorial integrity and national sovereignty.”

I like to think of this aspect of integrity in the context of building foundations. What happens when a building’s foundation lacks integrity? The building collapses…simple. The possible causes of that lack of integrity could be many and varied; however, they all have one thing in common, they weaken the structure. You cannot have a robust building if you have weak foundations. Does this mean you cannot Be who you want to BE unless you have structural integrity?

When I apply this to myself, I find myself able to make a list of all my shortcomings. All the things I need to be, have, do or acquire so as I have complete structural integrity. This is mission impossible and unnecessary. None of us needs to be all things to all men. We are blessed with agile brains which enable us to compensate for shortcomings by using our strengths. And yet it is incumbent on the journeying soul to obtain or create sufficient structural integrity as required for the mission we undertake. 

Youth is Wasted on the Young…Or is it? 

In pondering this question, I recently created what I describe as the Effectiveness Curve. An attempt to explain the relationship between Potential manifested in Energy and Physical Ability (youth); and Experience, manifested in Knowledge and Wisdom (age) and how these factors create an individual’s “effectiveness”. (see below)

Your Effectiveness Curve

Your Effectiveness Curve is very unlikely to be so clean and tidy, let alone straight as a die. It is most likely to be serpentine, and your curve will depend entirely on your choices and actions. You can shift your Effectiveness Curve upwards at any time of life through increased learning and/or activity. Enabling yourself to achieve the level of Structural Integrity you need to fulfil on your mission regardless of how old or frail you are.

That said it is much easier to deploy energy and physical ability to learning when you are young. AND it is a lot smarter to become knowledgeable and wise before you grow old! To be clear, this does not necessarily mean book learning, AND books are a great source of distilled wisdom. It also means travel and cultural awareness; listening to demanding conversations and wise people. Learning to exercise and caring for yourself and others, all of which are necessary for a long, effective and therefore contented life with structural integrity.

Am I in integrity? You be the judge.

My work is assisting individuals to get out of life everything they want. Integrity is a super important part of this mission, mine and yours! I’d love to know if I have delivered let me know what you think.  If you’d like to learn how the Andreia Method and personal change management can relight your mojo, why not book a chat with me.

Talk soon 

John

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