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6 Potential Gaps in Your Integrity

January 9, 2012

To celebrate our two-year wedding anniversary Ginger and I flew to Cancun in the summer of 1998. We decided to give scuba diving a try. After the short instruction class we loaded onto the boat with our rented diving gear.

As the boat went across the water I immediately felt nauseous. My wife said I literally turned green. Eventually, I was leaning over the boat “feeding the fish”. Apparently, I’m not deep sea diver material.

When we headed back to land, I needed to focus on something. So from the back of the boat, I intently stared at the boats’ wake. Something about that wake intrigued me. It clearly revealed where we had been.

I recently read Integrity by Dr. Henry Cloud. He uses the picture of a ship’s wake to describe integrity.

Like a wake, integrity has two sides: Tasks (What you’ve accomplished) and Relationships (Are people better off having crossed your path? Would they want to do it again?).

Does your integrity have gaps? Of course it does. You’re human. The question is where.

Here are 6 potential gaps in your integrity:

1) Authenticity

When people share their frustrations do you immediately invalidate them by saying, “You’ll be fine. Don’t worry about it. It’s not that bad.”, etc.?

WARNING: If you invalidate your spouse don’t be surprised when they find someone who validates them. If you invalidate your kids don’t be surprised when their hearts leave home seeking validation. If you invalidate your employees don’t be surprised when they leave your company and join the competing business across town.

“The human heart will seek to be known, understood, and connected with above all else. If you don’t connect, the ones you care about will find someone who will.” – Dr. Henry Cloud

2) Acknowledge Reality

Do you confront the brutal facts or make excuses?

This is the golfer who says, “I would’ve shot a 71 if the greens were better but I shot a 91.” Or the parent who says, “My kids would’ve gotten into that college if their high school teachers were better.”

Not facing reality makes you less likely to address the actual problem.

3) Productive

Do what you do well stay away from what you do poorly. Also, focus on what strongonly/strong you can do. Examples: You’re the only Godly source of romance for your spouse. You are your children’s only Mom/Dad.

4) Problem-solver

– Confront well (Don’t avoid the elephant in the room)
– Separate your identity from your work results
– Let it go! (Bitterness is the only sin which never includes a moment of self-enjoyment)

5) Driven to Grow

Do you have a “curious” mind? Are you a reader? Do you take risks? Do you have a mentor? Are you pouring into others?

6) Others-focused

Promote a cause (faith, family, helping others, church) bigger than you.

Hows your integrity? Ask your spouse to help you identify your integrity strengths and weaknesses.

You’re creating a wake. Stare intently at it. How’s it look?


From → Leadership

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