Integrity, Part One
Updated: Jun 10, 2021
I was working on a piece about Integrity through the lens of personal career experience and the Enneagram. Then January 6 happened. Now I want to share some thoughts about Integrity, from a social and a leadership perspective.
These two quotes capture a lot of what I have been processing this week:
"One of the truest tests of integrity is its blunt refusal to be compromised” ___Achebe Chinua
"Radical integrity is the foundation from where we build our lives of authenticity and service to the whole.” ___Bethany Webster
As long as we have leaders who serve as our public servants, then Integrity of character— and of action—should be both our demand, and our expectation.
Since the inception of governments and all kinds of rulerships, politics—how ever much we might abhor it—has been an essential part of the eco-system of leadership. Our elected and appointed leaders, serve as public servants while they also navigate and manage their political contexts, with the later characterization of their role frequently taking center stage. I sometimes wonder if the In-the-spotlight drama and chaos of politics, serves to minimize the Public Servant aspect of the work. And even, that this may be by design. It should not be so. The political performance should be the means to the end (not the other way around), the end thus being the role of Public Servant, and with Integrity being the foundation, as Webster states above. A life of service truly does require radical integrity!
We are collectively worried about a devaluation and disappearance of Integrity, not only in government and politics, but in all the organizations that lead groups of people towards some end goal or objective. It is my contention that all leaders, in any setting, are first and foremost Servant Leaders, whether they know it or not. Many fail, not just because the work from that perspective is hard—which it certainly is—but because the Servant Leadership concept is not fully embraced in the first place. It is also true that without an embodied and demonstrated authenticity, the work of leadership is more difficult, and the outcomes harder to fulfill.
Our work here at GHC is designed to help bridge those (and a few other) gaps, to support nonprofit and public leaders towards a life of fulfillment and achievement of worthy goals, without sacrifice of Integrity. Authenticity does not need to be painful, and servant leadership can be life-giving, rather than depleting. We know that there are politics in any organization, and that this can be either healthy, or unhealthy.
Understanding self through the Enneagram: A Course series for a 2021 world
As an experienced Nonprofit Consultant, Enneagram Coach and facilitator, I have a collection of tools to deliver empowering work and quality outcomes. My work looks at many challenges and issues that face people and organizations going in to 2021, including how an Enneagram perspective can help us navigate this time of societal transition.
Personal and Collective Integrity is something to explore through Enneagram study, and I am try to incorporate the topic into my Enneagram courses and coaching work. It all depends on the client's needs! I hope this is interesting to others, please let me know if this strikes any interest for you. I expect to learn much in the process, and it will be enlightening.
It is good to refuse to allow our integrity to be compromised, but political and competitive environments make it very difficult for human beings to hold to our line in the sand. Finding ways to deeply explore how concepts of Service and Authenticity can effectively counterbalance a variety of Political influences could be a useful approach.
Using Enneagram knowledge and frameworks can be one way to do all of that.
“The true heroes of the new millennium will be servant leaders, quietly working out of the spotlight to transform our world.” ― Ann McGee-Cooper