Integrity Is Not To Be Confused With Reputation

The circumstances amid which you live determine your reputationUnknown – The truth you believe determines your character… Unknown

Reputation is what you are supposed to be; Character is what you are…

Reputation is the photograph; character is the face…

Reputation comes over one from without; character grows up from within…

Reputation is what you have when you come into a new community; character is what you have when you go away…

Reputation is made in a moment; your character is built in a lifetime…

Your reputation is learned in an hour; your character does not come to light for a year…

Reputation grows like a mushroom; character lasts like eternity…

Reputation makes you rich or makes you poor; character makes you happy or makes you miserable…

Reputation is what men say about you on your tombstone; character is what angels say about you before the throne of God.

Essential Traits for Good Character

ACCOUNTABILITY

Success as a leader is built on the foundation of character

ACCOUNTABILITY images

People of good character don’t mind accountability. In fact, they welcome it. The brutal truth is that we have blind spots and need other people to be in close to us so we can advance down the road of success. The need for accountability doesn’t prove lack of character. Rather, it proves the presence of character. G.K. Chesterton said, “Original sin is the only philosophy empirically validated by 3,500 years of human history.” The person of good character knows this and invites others to speak into their life.

Followers grow tired of leaders who will have nothing to do with accountability. They don’t mind leaders who make mistakes, but they do mind leaders who don’t take responsibility for their mistakes by being accountable. When we allow ourselves to be held accountable, our followers know that we are serious about keeping our own house in order, and thus will do a good job in leading the rest of the organization.

Does the Bible speak of Christian accountability? First of all, the Bible says that God holds us accountable. Romans 14:12 says, “So then each of us shall give account of himself to God.” This is personal accountability.

Christians are also accountable to one another. In 1 Corinthians chapter 12, we read that Christians are all part of the same body – the body of Christ – and each member needs or belongs to the other. This Scripture suggests the importance of strong accountability between Believers. It is important for every Believer to have at least one other person in which to confide, pray with, listen to, and encourage.

Essential Traits of Good Character

LOYALTY

20 QUESTIONS

Success as a leader is built on the foundation of character

LOYALTY unknown

People of good character are loyal people. They have a “stick-to-it” attitude when it comes to others. Anybody who knows human nature knows that people fail. It’s just a matter of time, no matter how talented someone is. A person of good character stays with their friends even in the downtimes. Anyone can be a friend with others when times are good. People of good character stay with their friends when they need them most. How this translates into making you a good leader is this: People want to follow a leader who will stretch them beyond where they are now, but who’ll also allow them to try—and to fail. When we are loyal to our followers, they’ll be loyal to us and make every effort to succeed on our behalf and on behalf of the organization. There are few things that strengthen the leader-follower bond more than when a leader shows loyalty to a follower in need. (Jim Rohn)

Essentiel Traits of Good Character

HONESTY

Success as a leader is built on the foundation of character

HONESTY

Have you ever heard the old adage, “Honesty is the best policy!” May I suggest that when it comes to faith-based leadership that HONESTY is the only policy! When you take the adage at face value, what are the alternatives to honesty? Are there alternatives worthy of consideration? I suppose the answer to this question depends upon what you are attempting to build and whom you want to invite. honesty-is-an-expensive-gift-dont-expect-it-from-cheap-people-2

Let’s be clear, dishonesty destroys the trust your followers will give you. Even if you tell the truth and yet you have lied to others, people will not trust and they will not follow. Here is an axiom that trumps all others; “If you do not trust the leader you will not listen to the message!”

A quick cursory review of the “Benefits of Dishonesty” shows an article from the NY Times, 9/29/15 that says dishonesty gives short-term benefits. In a Forbes article, 10/24/05, discusses how lying is good for you. I could keep sighting such articles. I’ve never understood what people hope to accomplish by being dishonest. Eventually people come to know that you’re not honest in your dealings, and that is what you become known for. Your reputation is what your leadership is based on, though. When we’re honest and live transparently before our followers, they’re able to see us for who we are and make solid decisions to follow.

For “Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit; let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” 1 Peter 3:10-12 ESV.

Essential Traits of Good Character

INTEGRITY

Significance Begins HERE

Success as a leader is built on the foundation of character

INTEGRITY

Integrity is a good catchword for character, but there are nuance’s that opens up a wider view of character. When you chase the etymological meaning of the word through the French and Latin origins you find this emphasis; “soundness, wholeness, completeness,” figuratively “purity, correctness, blamelessness”[1]. As you reflect upon this insight you realize that a life built upon Integrity is a life that is whole and undivided. There is a consistency about your leadership. You do not behave one way on an issue and then flip to the opposite end of thinking at a different time. You become trustworthy. People can count on your consistency of action and thinking.integrity

When you apply these words to the building trades, we say that a building has integrity. This means that a building is sound in structure and function otherwise we would say the building’s integrity has been compromised. The craftsmanship, materials, and codes have been met and exceeded. As non-profit faith-based leaders we desire to build into our leading INTEGRITY. After all it is not about my house, my program, my dreams or my passions.

May I remind you of ancient conversation; “And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock, I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail.” (Matthew 16:18 ESV).

[1] http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=integrity. Accessed 13, October 2016.

Worthy Idea

Webster defines “ideal” as a standard of perfection, beauty or excellence; an ultimate object or aim of endeavor. A worthy ideal is more than a goal – it is that which inspires the soul to move onward and upward to a greater awareness of the sheer beauty and abundance of life – real life.

How do we develop this? What is the process to define our own personal worthy ideal?

The first step is to allow ourselves to be completely free, relaxed and quiet. Our minds need to be quieted from all the endless chatter it experiences throughout the day and night. Even in our sleep our minds are working.

Meditation is an age-old practice to quiet one’s mind. There are many ways to meditate – laying still, focusing on breathing, walking, sitting, standing, holding a yoga pose, soaking in a tub… the main ingredient is to be in a place of quietness and safety; a place where one can allow the mind to wander.

When this is achieved, the next step is to begin the creative process of imagining. What is that one thing you want to accomplish before you leave this world? What is that idea you have been thinking about since you were a child but were told it was impossible? What is that one idea that is so far out, so out of the norm, so “pie in the sky” that you have suppressed it and only dreamt of it as an unrealistic fantasy? Begin there.

Through visualization, become emotionally involved with your worthy ideal. Be one with this thought, this idea, this fantasy of yours. Make the decision to take time everyday to meditate on your worthy ideal. Commit this to paper – write out in full detail what this looks like, how you feel, who you are. Define your worthy ideal and refer to it frequently throughout the day.

Emotional attachment to your worthy ideal will energize you to change your behavior. As your behaviors change, your results change and your worthy ideal, your standard of perfection and ultimate object or aim of endeavor will become your reality.

Winning Image

Significance Begins HERE

Beliefs are a part of our life experience and they determine so much about our lives. Did you know that within you is the power to do the things you never thought possible? This power becomes available to you just as soon as you are able to change your beliefs.

Self image is a collection of beliefs. It is made up of ideas that were placed in our minds by other people before we had the ability to think for ourselves. Therefore, these ideas that run our lives today were most likely placed there by other people.

As adults, we have the ability to choose who we take advice from and although we may not always get the best advice, at least we have a choice. But when we were young, we didn’t have that choice.

If success is enjoyed by 4-5% of the population, what are the odds that our minds were programmed with ideas by people who knew how things really worked? Keep in mind that our parents and guardians gave their best but they couldn’t give us what they didn’t have to give – they were the product of environmental conditioning just as we were.

If you want what information you have programmed in, all you need to do is look at your results. Your results don’t lie – your results are a reflection of your self-image. If you want to change your results, then you need to start with your self-image.

If we are not prepared to change that internal image and we do not want to go through the process of change, then we don’t deserve the change in our results. Everyone wants the change but many are not prepared to make the change. We have to take responsibility for changing the image. We may not have been responsible for creating it but we are responsible for changing it.

Practice

Significance Begins HERE

Malcolm Gladwell stated that to become an expert, you need to have 10,000 hours invested. Those 10,000 hours are repeated acts of practicing a craft. Thomas Edison tried 2,000 times before he perfected the filament in an incandescent bulb. Failed attempts at something are merely practices for that victory.

Look at a baby taking her first step. Wobbly legs and lack of balance coupled with lots of falls. That baby is determined to walk. There is an innate desire to walk. An insatiable desire to walk. She practices holding on to tables, chairs, anything to stabilize as she moves about and then finally she takes that first step only to fall back onto her bottom. She gets up and tries again. Many days and weeks and even months pass and then she picks up the pace and turns those steps into runs. Have you observed a toddler running for the first time? He usually stumbles over his feet and loses his balance and falls again. And gets up and tries it over and over. Some take it to the next level and run as sport and then run professionally.

Take running a marathon as an example. You can’t get up one day and say you’re going to run a marathon this weekend without training for it. Your body will shut down early on depending on your physical capabilities. Marathon runners train for weeks and weeks on end slowly building up their stamina and distance in preparation for the big day. They practice. They practice a lot!

Look at your goals. Look at your passion and purpose in life. Are you practicing for that victory? Are you working every day to achieve that life you desire? Are you focused on the end goal?

Success is met with a lot of failures. Those who succeed persevered through the failures continually practicing for that success. Look at your life and write down those acts that you perform on a daily basis and have or are in the process of perfecting. This could be forgiveness, your profession, a hobby, guilt, love, whatever it may be – look at those things you do on a regular basis and then look at your purpose, vision and goals in life and see if they match up. If not, then make a conscientious change today to practice what is going to move you to your goals.

Plan

Significance Begins HERE

Imagine taking a trip without a map. Imagine building a structure without blueprints. Imagine going through life without a plan…

Do you drift through life letting life happen to you? Does it give you angst when you know you have a higher purpose but don’t know where to start?

Let’s get out of that existential funk and begin to craft the life we want to live.

Crafting a life plan is not a simple task and will not take an hour to complete. You will need to commit to writing, meditating, contemplating and soul searching and expect this to take time. If you have the ability, go somewhere for a weekend alone and work on this – camping, hotel, man cave… however you can be alone to work on your life’s plan.

Begin to define who you are. List out your roles – husband/wife, boss, worker, sister/brother, volunteer, citizen, friend, etc.

Prioritize these roles to determine which are most important. Identify which roles cause the most stress and which are the roles you want to explore or give highest priority to. By identifying these roles you will uncover patterns and those roles you want to eliminate.

Persistance

Significance Begins HERE

If you knew what 500 of the world’s wealthiest people knew – would you do as they do?

Napoleon Hill dedicates an entire chapter to Persistence. Your paradigms will shift when you consistently feed your mind with repetitive information.

Hill describes the four steps that lead to the habit of persistence as:

A definite purpose backed by a burning desire for its fulfillment.

A definite plan, expressed in continuous action.

A mind closed tightly against all negative and discouraging influences, including negative suggestions of relatives, friends and acquaintances.

A friendly alliance with one or more persons who will encourage one to follow through with both plan and purpose.

These four steps will also lead to the mastery of fear, discouragement and indifference. Persistence is one of the common threads in the 500 wealthiest people’s repertoire – make it part of your daily practice.