Updated: Sep 3
This week my research has been focussed on the theme of 'courage', about which much has been written in recent years examining in terms of how it relates to effective leadership. There is one interesting school of thought that proposes courage as the behaviour seen when a leader with integrity faces situations of adversity where they are placed under great pressure. This approach sees integrity as an antecedent to courage; i.e. before you can act with courage, a person needs to have a deeply held sense of integrity built on a strong understanding of personal values.
Integrity is something that has become increasingly important to me over the past 12 months as I continue to experience the roller coaster ride that is self-employment. I love meeting new people and exploring potential new ideas with the people I meet, especially when those people are the great ones who are able to achieve amazing things. Sadly, though, not everyone I have met along the way upholds the same values, and I have experienced (and learned from) some challenging times where what others have said has not necessarily matched to their actions.
So, for me, integrity is one of my fundamental guiding principles and something that I will always seek to uphold personally, professionally and across everything that I do. I came across this quote in my research this week and offer it here as a starting point to explain why I feel it is important to explain what the notion of integrity actually means to me, and perhaps most importantly, what I will do to uphold my values and beliefs.
"Integrity is a lot like the weather: everyone talks about it, but no-one knows what to do about it".
Carter (1996, p.6)*
INTEGRITY...for me this means that:
“I will always endeavour to behave in line with my values, with my values acting as a moral compass to help me make good choices and decisions through every step of my journey. I know that sometimes these choices and decisions will not be easy, but I will take courage from the strength of my beliefs and will not be afraid to say ‘no’ to opportunities or things that are not aligned with what I believe. I guarantee you that ‘what you see is what you get’ and I promise to always ‘walk my own talk’ when it comes to working with you or connecting with you. I will commit to being authentic, and sometimes vulnerable, and although I may not always reveal everything about myself, I will not behave in a way that compromises my core values. I promise that I will always be me.”
My commitment is that I will bring this to life by:
Always acting and behaving in line with my values and what I believe
Having the courage of my convictions and making good choices and decisions based on what I believe
Using my values and beliefs as a moral compass to help me navigate my path
Being me. Being authentic. Being prepared to be appropriately vulnerable.
Saying ‘no’ to opportunities and things that don’t feel right
Walking my talk and ensuring that what I say I do and what I actually do are aligned
For me, integrity matters.
* Carter, S.L. (1996) Integrity. Harper Collins: New York