Lead with Integrity

I try not to talk about politics in this blog. It is hard at times when your blog is about leadership. The weight of yesterday and what leadership should look like or not look like was extremely heavy. Many times in politics we debate issues that are personal to us. Those personal beliefs are then many times placed on others and we fight them to the end. However we never really try to understand others’ experiences and beliefs that lead them to their views. All politics aside, I do want the leader of my country, whether or not I agree with his views, to have integrity.

Merriam-Webster’s definition of integrity is “a firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values : incorruptibility.” I think sometimes for all the talk of leadership skills, books, and conferences how much do we really talk about integrity and ethics? Let’s be real here for a minute. Integrity and ethics is not necessarily a sexy topic. You don’t see ethics books hanging at the top position of the New York Times Bestseller List. Yet ethics are also the thing that can most quickly bring down a leader, a corporation, a church, or a country. 

Lead with Integrity
Photo by Dragomir Vujnovic. Used by Permission.

This week I’ve been reading Lead Like Wesley by Mark L. Gorveatte. John Wesley was the leader of the Methodist movement. Each chapter of the book is taken from Wesley’s Twelve Rules of a Helper.  A few of the ones that really spoke to me were…

Rule One: “Be diligent. Never be unemployed a moment. Never be trifling employed. Never while away time; neither spend more time at any place than is strictly necessary.”²

John Wesley had a prayer from his collection, “Am I resolved to do all the good I can this day, and to be diligent in the business of my calling?”¹

Rule Six: “Speak evil of no one; else your word especially would eat as doth a canker. Keep your thoughts within your own breast, till you come to the person concerned.”³

A synonym of canker is “ulcer”. An ulcer eats away at the skin. In the same way gossip eats away at your heart. Gossip is so easily counted as something you find in a magazine at a grocery store. But gossip can also be disguised as a meeting  within a leadership team or in sharing between coworkers at a water cooler or smoke break. How much more constructive would the work be at most organizations if this rule were in place and enforced at most work places. This leads us to rule 7.

Rule Seven: “Tell every one what you think wrong in him, and that plainly, as soon as may be; else it will fester in your heart. Make all haste to cast the fire out of your bosom (chest).”³

So most people don’t use the word bosom now a days. But putting that out of our minds, this rule has to be taken with the right heart as well. One it tells us that we shouldn’t gossip, but go to that person directly. Two it also says that we should speak “plainly”. I think this is one big miss in today’s world and at least in my part of the world. Brené Brown puts it best in her book Dare to Lead when she says, “Clear is Kind”.

Rule Ten: “Be punctual. Do everything exactly at the time. And in general do not mend our Rules, but keep them; not for wrath, but for conscience’ sake.”³ 

When I first read this I thought that it meant punctuality as in being to work on time etc. Something I struggle with. More the 5-10 minute after type person which is a personal progress I am working towards. To those on-timers, I’m sure it seems an easy answer of just do it. But what I also gravitated in this rule was that it wasn’t just about arriving to a place on time, but looking at punctuality as also taking action at the precise time needed. Being punctual with our actions.

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Sarah Jackson

Vigilant Poster Girl

Every week I talk about a book that we’re reading on leadership and self-development. You can follow along by going to the Book of the Week page at the top. And order a book (either kindle, audible, or paperback) by clicking on the photo of that book. When you do that, it also helps fund this site. 

References:

  1. Lead Like Wesley by Mark L. Gorveatte pg 24
  2. Lead Like Wesley by Mark L. Gorveatte pg 176
  3. Lead Like Wesley by Mark L. Gorveatte pg 177

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