Posts Tagged ‘integrity’

You and a colleague, Harry are up for a promotion. You know you are the better person for the job, but Harry got the position. He’s pompous, arrogant and doesn’t have the leadership skills that inspire you to generate, well, anything. You scratch your head in disbelief that he was chosen over you.

Part of you, perhaps wants to sabotage Harry’s efforts and do whatever you can to expose him for the inadequate, incompetent individual that you see him to be; however, that goes against your integrity, and you may end up looking bad and feeling worse in the end.

For some reason, even though the whole office knows of Harry’s incompetence, no one seems to take action. He’s that one rotten apple that spoils the whole barrel.

There are a lot of Harry’s and Harriets in the business world. As an administrative assistant, manager or whatever your position, you know you are smarter than your boss. You deserve his salary and every perk that goes along with his position, because you are working your butt off and he’s the one that is looking good! AAARRRGGHH!

If you go above Harry’s head to his boss, Glenda, you might be not only aggravate Harry but also be making it clear to Glenda that she may have made a choice that is creating negative consequences far beyond any expectations. She’s already regretting her choice and knows there’s nothing she can do.

This scenario is not uncommon. Probably 30% of my business clients are struggling with at least one particular individual that is a thorn in their side. They question their own sanity and the sanity of those who put the Harrys of the world in those positions. What do you do?

It’s a dilemma.

Do you stay or do you go? Do you ask to get transferred? Do you stay and suck it up, because you need the job? Do you try to go around Harry, or do you do what you do best and ignore what Harry wants from you?

My job as a transformational coach is not to fix, heal or convert clients, so they’ll have the answers to problems that they face. My job is to be a thinking partner, empowering clients to unravel all of the complexities that are bringing him or her to this dilemma and this choice-point.

Our businesses systems are no different than our family systems, in that they are generated and driven by survival mechanisms that most likely operate from a fear-based paradigm. They have been cultivated through generations of personal relationships based on cultural, religious, gender and racial factors. Too often wisdom and common sense do not enter into the equation when it comes to how a business or family is operating. We take for granted and assume intelligence and maturity would be foundational to choosing directors, managers and leaders, but trust me, and you may know from your own experience, most people running businesses, departments and corporations function, to some degree, from the emotional intelligence of an adolescent. It makes sense that you are going to think you are smarter than your boss; in some ways you probably are; in other ways you probably aren’t.

Notice the Pattern

The trick is to notice this pattern of operating. When you’re feeling smarter than – what’s the quality of the experience? Are you feeling righteous and arrogant, contemptuous and condescending? Do you feel frustrated and discouraged? What actions are you likely to take from righteous, condescending, frustrated and discouraged? What do you do to compensate for feeling this way? How do you avoid, distract, ignore or deny your own part in this dysfunctional process? By the way, we are all participating in having the Harry’s of the world be where they are.

The questions funnel down to just one:

What is it you are here to learn that has Harry be in your life, in this time, in this way?

Answer this question and you’ll understand what it is you need to shift in order to facilitate the learning. I guarantee that while doing what’s required in order to make the shift, you’ll notice that Harry will either change or go away! It’s fascinating to observe what changes within our environment once we get our part in maintaining it as it has been.

Entangled and embroiled in the cauldron of complexity of our work environment, its challenging to see all of this without a thinking partner or coach who can hold the bigger picture and who also holds you accountable for your participation in the unfolding of your life within this bigger picture. No coach or thinking partner? That’s okay. Just be willing to be truthful in answering the questions above. This alone will create a positive shift for you; and the Harry’s of the world will go POOF!

By the way, some of the Harry’s of the world are my clients too. Given an opportunity to look at what has them choose to choose to be how they be, they, too, willingly shift in support of a larger, more fulfilling outcome. Yey for us all!

By the time you’ve opened your little peepers in the morning you’ve most likely  set your intentions for the day. This happens automatically for most of us. There are the normal patterns that we engage in to prepare for the day ahead, then follow through until tucked back in bed ready for a good night’s rest. What would shift if we became intentional about creating our day? What would we intend to happen? How would we intend to be that would allow our day to unfold?

People make extraordinary leaps of faith, creating because they were inspired to do so. Inspiration leads to intentions, which leads to acting with integrity. All three are essential yet it is integrity that gets the job done.

You are a rare individual who considers the possibility of creating a paradigm shift in the work place; one that would allow kindness, compassion and true collaboration to inundate the ranks of the stressed, overwhelmed and unfulfilled. What arouses such an undertaking in you? In my mind it has to involve inspiration.

That quality of being inspired – we know all know what it feels like, and we spend thousands of dollars for motivational speakers to come in and inspire us to – to do what? We read books and watch movies with the intention to facilitate the experience of feeling inspired. Too often, though that inspiration doesn’t last more than a couple of hours and we are back to our normal routine. We know the experience and we know how to cultivate it, Integrity is also a quality of being. We all know what it feels like too.

Our somatic or physical response to the world is the tell-all of our reality. If you want to know what’s true for you, go to the source—your body—it never lies. What does inspiration feel like to you? What is it that has that experience move you to take action? We don’t think much about this, though it is a huge factor in our lives.

Inspiration starts with a sensation of giddiness and excitement in my chest. I feel exhilarated and want to do something to support and nourish this feeling of being swept up. It’s different than anxiousness, which generally has a good dose of fear added. I also feel an impulse to move, to do something that fulfills these sensations. It’s like I’m being asked for something I know I can fulfill.

How does an idea become manifested? Action has to be taken and initially this can feel energizing and fun. Slowly though we lose touch with our original inspiration. With time and distractions we forget what we wanted or why we wanted it. Generally speaking, as we move towards what we want, something in us gets threatened and that stops us in our tracks. We need something more – we need to exercise muscles of integrity. Integrity tells us that we have intentions to manifest our vision and it’s critical to our well-being that we follow through to the very end. This all happens within our bodies. These bodily sensations continually influence us, yet rarely do we pay them the attention they deserve.

The Road to Hell is Paved with Good Intentions

The experience of intention can be very uncomfortable for people. For some, anxiety, nervousness and vulnerability ride shotgun. For others, excitement, anticipation and expectancy are present. What creates these different responses to the experience of intention? The vulnerability of wanting is embedded in our bodies, as are the memories of disappointment. The level of significance we give to what we want influences our willingness to set intentions to make it happen. More people than you can imagine have given up being their intention, not because it’s part of their spiritual practice, but because they decided long ago that it wasn’t safe to want, and most likely they weren’t going to get it, so they stopped being intentional. They wake up in the morning, yet remain asleep to their hearts desire.

The practice of setting intentions to create action and follow through in support of our intentions, while at the same time not being attached to the wanting or the outcome, is essential and challenging. Living in the moment and practicing these steps strengthens character and gives us courage to live into the unknown. It cultivates wisdom and confidence to be with whatever shows up. This too seems very challenging at first. But like everything else, practice brings about the expansion of capability and ease of being with what use to feel uncomfortable, vulnerable and impossible. Either it is enough to take us over the edge of our hopes and fears, into the life we imagine, or it’s not. The only way to do this is by investigating this territory. We have to take the leap.

Inspiration, Intention and Integrity as Tools

On all levels of being, from the current circumstances to the domain of Universal Oneness, we have specific intentions. Without these we would not survive for we would lack even the desire to hope or want life itself. To see inspiration, intention and integrity as tools we can effectively change our relationship to that which generates the unfolding of life itself. As the paradigm shifts, each of us will willingly participate in the expansion of consciousness, thrilled to witness the fulfillment of potential far more magnificent than imaginable. It is definitely worth the price of admission.

Integrity – Looking oneself in the mirror

by Matthew Carmen on September 13, 2010

This past week I took a vacation, to Hawaii.  I tried to focus on the much-needed relaxation, keeping my mind free of business and the stresses of life; and for the most part, I did.  One work-related thought lingered on, however: integrity in one’s work.   I began to notice integrity – in its various forms –  all over the islands, and kept thinking about how core it is in business, specifically in the consulting and financial worlds where I practice.  Integrity is the one thing that every person should have.  It doesn’t matter what job, economic status, social standing, or any other measure people use to “judge” each other, integrity should be the main benchmark as to one’s character.

The only place I did not see complete integrity was at the USC-University of Hawaii football game.  One of our players (I am a proud USC alum) slammed the opposing quarterback with a truly illegal hit – not exactly playing with integrity, right?  The UH quarterback was knocked out of the game, and when I left the islands on Tuesday, he had still not returned to practice.  The USC player has to look into the mirror and examine his actions, his integrity in question.

The people in the service industry, hotels, restaurants, museums and other places, seemed to do their jobs with integrity.  They were all very helpful, pleasant and seemed truly to enjoy their jobs.  This could be that they were happy to have any job in today’s economy, but I don’t think it was that simple.  It could possibly be tied to the cultural differences in the islands versus the mainland, but again, I don’t think so.  I just think that the people I dealt with actually enjoyed their lives as they were.  What a great place to be in.

Everything I witnessed got me to thinking about integrity in business.  Let me state clearly that I believe the great majority of people – probably more than 98% – hold integrity high on their list, and incorporate into their work accordingly.  What is unfortunate is that the small minority of people that lack integrity are the ones who make all the news.  I go into dealings with people – meetings, XXX, XXX, etc. – with the assumption that those people are honest, forthright and willing to stand to their word.  I hope that people inside and outside of the business world look at me this way in return.  When I make a claim to someone – say a client – I back it up, and if questioned, I’m ready to address it right away.

Integrity and Relationships

Doing business is establishing and growing relationships, and these relationships cannot be strong if not forged with integrity.   For example, my company seeks long-term relationships with all of our clients, essentially becoming a trusted advisor to their organization and solving datacenter, connectivity and IT financial challenges.  Clearly, if our firm is viewed as lacking in integrity, these relationships could not flourish, and the company could not and would not be in business.  At the end of the day, a person has only his or her word, and must operate with integrity to ensure trust.  If they choose to conduct themselves otherwise, there is no need to trust or deal with them.  There are too many people and companies that do things the right way to work with those who do not.

Conclusion

I learned two things on vacation.

  1. It is really important to actually take vacations and clear your mind of professional stress, etc.  Upon your return, you may come up with some new ideas that will revolutionize your business and dealing with clients, co-workers, and management.
  2. I do know that if you don’t have integrity and the internal fortitude to use it, you might as well give it up.  You will never move up in your chosen field or establish close and trusted relationships with people, professionally or personally.  Lastly, look at yourself in the mirror, if you aren’t happy with the person you are looking at, figure out why that is and work on transforming that view into one you like.

Once I make a commitment…

by Himanshu Jhamb on March 10, 2010

This post is inspired from a hit bollywood movie “Wanted” (which I found particularly cheesy and a bit in the spirit of the gladly forgotten 90’s era when bollywood unfortunately, had forgot how to make good movies). Though the movie was a typical masala movie, there was a particular dialogue from the movie that had hit me just as intensely as the hero (Salman Khan) hits pretty much everyone throughout the movie.

So, what’s a line from a bollywood promo for a movie I found quite cheesy doing on Active Garage? It obviously has a message that applies very closely to business, life and the business of life!

Without further ado, here is the line and it’s translation:

In Hindi:

“Ek baar jo maine commitment kar di…uske baad toh main khud ki bhi nahin sunta!”

Translation: The translation of the single dialogue from the promo is:

Once I make a commitment… I don’t even listen to myself”

I was quite moved by the simplicity and the power of this sentence. Imagine a world where everyone makes commitments and don’t even listen to themselves, if it means breaking them. Imagine a world where people keep their word at every cost. There is no “Sorry for being late… “, no “The dog ate my homework… ” or “I did not think it was that important”. How much easier would it become to work with customers, employers, employees and colleagues! Welcome to the land of Integrity!

There are a few definitions of integrity but the most powerful one is “The quality or state of being whole or complete”.

Consider a couple of examples to clarify this definition:

  • When we say a bridge has integrity, we trust that it is functional. That is to say that we trust it to the function as someone has said it will be OR in other words, when the builder declares that a bridge is ready, traffic (buses, trucks, cars etc) can cross over and reach the other side safe and sound. That’s integrity.
  • When we say an airline has integrity, we trust that it is functional. That is to say that you and I trust it enough so that we will put ourselves at 30,000 feet above ground in a metal cylinder powered by jet engines and enjoy the ride to the other side of the world safely (and hopefully in time!). That’s integrity.

Consider the lack of integrity (and its consequences) in these two examples:

  • Bridge: Even a single brick being lose or a beam not properly constructed can cause havoc in the lives of thousands if that results in the bridge collapsing – that is the price of lack of integrity in this situation.
  • Airline: A single oversight in the routine check of the millions of mechanical parts of an airplane can mean unthinkable consequences.

Consider the possibility that we, as individuals, bring this very same concept of integrity to our daily lives, our workplaces and everywhere else with how we show up in this world. You’ll notice that in all the domains of your life, people relate to you the way you show up as (i.e. how you act) with the background of who you declare yourself to be (your word) – and always make the assessment of trust based on if you keep your word or not.

Note: Special thanks to Landmark Education for providing me with the distinction of Integrity.

No matter what anyone says, Results are binary!

by Himanshu Jhamb on December 21, 2009

Results are binaryResults are binary… it’s either done or not done.

Having been a part of many projects since I started working (about 15 years ago), I have heard, seen and even said “these” so many times – that I have no doubt it is one of the most common conditions of being human. Not a very favorable one (since it hardly does us much good), but common, yes. I am talking about the common answers we mostly get when we ask the question “Is it done”? Here are some of the common answers to this question:

  • Almost
  • Yes, but…
  • Not Yet
  • I need a little more time
  • Its more complicated that I thought
  • The traffic was too bad…
  • I was not well, so…
  • What?
  • Well, you know…
  • Not really

Well, all these answers belong to one category – Not done. The only other answer is Yes, it’s done. Look, we all know that stuff happens: situations unfold, the world goes round, it rains, we make mistakes, the dog eats your homework, customers change their mind, hardware breaks, software does not perform as expected… the list is endless. The point is: Whatever the reason, the result is either – Yes, it’s done OR it’s not done.

The natural way of being for humans is to look into the reasons before facing and addressing the result. What’s worse is, we usually start with reasons or explanations (… alright! I will use the word, finally) or excuses before acknowledging if it’s done or not. Truthfully acknowledging the result before anything is said is the starting point to restoring the integrity of not keeping up to the commitment you gave in the first place… because once you make that acknowledgment, you bring forth a world where you are ready to take the responsibility of what went wrong – and the world of responsibility is just what reasons and excuses hate to be in!

You will also notice that it’s also a pleasure to deal with people who acknowledge the results they produce (or not) quickly, don’t give reasons or excuses and take responsibility for the situation and NOT repeating it. You’ll also notice the pain of working with people who make excuses all the time, don’t acknowledge the impact of the results they produced (or not) on the person/people working with them… I should know; I still go to my “land of reasons” from time to time – Rather, I still happen to FIND (since it’s not intentional, it just happens) myself in that land from time to time and when I do… I Boot out of it as fast as I can!  I suggest you do, too.