Are You Really Practicing Integrity? | Commitments of Conscious Leadership #6
“There is no such thing as a small breach of integrity.” – Tom Peters
Many individuals and firms may talk about the importance of “integrity” but do you really understand the importance it can play in your firm?
You may define integrity as doing the right thing, acting ethically, but the Conscious Leadership Group (CLG) describes it as “facilitating the flow of energy”. Think about times when your team seems to be performing at their peak and you will probably be able to sense the positive energy, enthusiasm and creativity. They go on to describe integrity as a combination of three elements: energy management, congruence, and alignment.
Conscious leaders understand how to fully express themselves to match their experience, rather than interrupting the flow of energy by trying to hold back and to also encourage that same flow within their team. They feel comfortable enough to discuss disagreements they may have, acknowledge problems they may be having and not try to disguise those issues. That is congruence – matching what is on the inside to what is on the outside – what is experienced to what is expressed. These behaviors allow that energy to be used positively and focused on your life purpose.
The CLG goes on to share what they call four pillars of integrity:
1) Take 100% responsibility
2) Speak authentically
3) Feel feelings through to completion
4) Impeccable Agreements
The first three we have addressed in previous articles, so let’s move to the 4th. An agreement is anything you have said that you will do or anything you have said you will not do and it exists between two or more people. Agreements can be telling a client you’ll get back to them before the end of the day or a written contract with that client. An agreement can also be with yourself – I agree to go to the gym 3 times a week – and is just as important to integrity. It is not a commitment, which is more general. An agreement includes who will do what by when.
For your agreements to be “impeccable” you need to master four practices:
1) Making clear agreements – being precise about who will do what by when and full commitment by all involved
2) Keeping agreements – do what you say by when you say
3) Renegotiation agreements – as soon as you realize you won’t be able to keep the agreement, communicate immediately and “renegotiate”
4) Cleaning up broken agreements – take responsibility and ask what you can do to clean up the broken agreement
The CLG identifies integrity as the practice of keeping agreements, taking responsibility, revealing authentic feelings, and expressing unarguable truths stressing it is essential to thriving leaders and organizations. It is also fundamental to conscious leadership and to the success of your business. Do your clients and vendors practice integrity?
When you see leadership that is engaged, passionate, purposeful, creative, innovative, intuitive, visionary, fun, relaxed and refreshed, you will most likely find a conscious leader – and one who practices integrity in all areas of their lives.