The more you grow your own confidence, the less you need to try to judge, manipulate or try control the people and situations around you.
I love and help support people in leadership who care about acting from a sense of integrity.
Even today, after over three decades on my own personal growth journey, I still find it hard to say, “I am sorry. I messed up. I got it wrong and made a mistake. I was out of order. I was acting out of my fear, guilt or pain.”
I am usually quite defensive, tending to blame the other person, or just keep quiet, withdraw and say nothing. It takes courage and a true humility to acknowledge my mistakes, weaknesses and humanity without crucifying myself or anyone else in the process. Emotional maturity is a place I visit, but don’t live in!
But when I need to and I am able to be honest and express these kinds of things, I feel like I have acted with integrity, and I restore a sense of integrity with myself. I am being the man I want to be. After the initial discomfort, I feel better about myself. I also stand a better chance of restoring trust and a state of grace with the other person, and I can begin to restore my own faith in myself.
I love and truly admire people who offer leadership who are willing and skilled at being in integrity with themselves and the people they serve and support. Much leadership today is about wanting to appear strong and invulnerable. Don’t show weakness, don’t show fear, don’t acknowledge mistakes or weaknesses, and find someone to blame and scapegoat for your mistakes.
I think one of the biggest challenges for leadership today is building trust, showing the common humanity that we all share that we can often feel reluctant to acknowledge.
This is why I say, the number one job of anyone in leadership is their own internal growth. The more you grow your own confidence, the less you need to try to judge, manipulate or try to control the people and situations around you.
It usually doesn’t work to demand integrity from other people, and its judging them for their lack of integrity doesn’t usually cause a light-bulb moment when people decide to change. Their defences are usually too well-formed. We can embody increasing integrity ourselves, we can become living examples of integrity and ask that they increase their integrity.
I am with Buckminster Fuller, the visionary and architect who said, “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model so beautiful that makes the existing model obsolete.”
My work is about helping cultivate more of us who want to offer leadership with a sense of personal integrity. This kind of leadership builds trust, it is inspiring and engaging. When its present, we can do amazing things together.
And my work on increasing my own levels of integrity is ongoing.