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Posts Tagged ‘Integrity’

For your Trueness
holds your soul well
while you free voice
in the story you must tell.

−verse 6 of Transforming Trueness (Repose)

What I love about storytelling is wholeness. In my experience, stories have been shared with me to bring clarity and wholeness to a particular situation. This is how I use stories in my one-on-one work with leaders. I tell stories directed at the need of the individual’s integrity.

I tell stories to assist the individual in feeling, hearing, and seeing his/her own truth and reality with more clarity−opening the individual further to personal impact and potential.

In and with stories, I love to show an individual how to apply the true self in a specific situation. These are not necessarily stories told by me, but more the stories I encourage out of the individual herself. I love hearing the light in her voice when she realizes she can handle the situation in a more authentic, skilled manner for a better outcome, one leaving everyone whole and her feeling good about herself.

Christie wanted to improve the relationship with her boss. At the beginning of the coaching session where she set that goal, she asked me to help her create a process to confront him and begin the focused process. I told her I would help her create such a process.

I lied. You see, I knew I could not help her create such a process, but I knew I could help her find that process right there inside where the process already existed.

One of my grandfather’s wise sayings was, “Asked-for advice is seldom heeded. Unasked-for advice is never heeded.”

To begin the journey to the process Christie desired, I begin to ask her questions about her boss, to learn more about his story. As Christie unfolded his story to me, I could hear so much compassion, care, and concern.

The focus once completely on her, when she first told me about her frustrations with her boss, began to shift fully on him, with a powerful level of understanding in play; she was forgiving her original assumptions.

She didn’t even know when it happened, when the process she needed unfolded in her story. When she was done answering my questions, and telling the engaging story, I simply recounted the 3-step process she had asked me to help her find, a process vibrantly alive in the story she had told.

The integrity of her process was undergirded by the power of focus that had come from her voice in play as she told the story. Her voice of Positive, Open Intent was flowing in the telling.

Everything can be taken to the flow, for whatever reason. If taken there with a commitment to hold and release, whatever is placed in the flow will be free to do what is good and right down stream, whether this is seen or not by the one who releases in love.

A poem for your work: Narrative Soul

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Your authentic self (Trueness) is your energy within the space of creative tension – your stand in the middle – the respectful space where being (internal) and doing (external) find flow, and conscious resonance through your original voice (the focus of your integrity).

One of the questions I’m asked is about the most common concern among the leaders with whom I work. For the first few years of my practice (the very first few years of this still young 21st Century) my answer was focus. Now, 15 years in, the answer has changed. Whirling change, economic instability, political immaturity, and so on, have seemingly redirected our attention. While the topic of focus often remains part of the coaching dialogue, it seems the perceived need to focus has settled into the varying value systems of those with whom I work.

It seems many leaders have tuned-in to both the power of being focused and the influence of consistently doing all they do in light of a deeper motivation. Why this is happening is the reason my answer to the most common concern of leaders has shifted from focus to integrity, and the corresponding mystery.

The mystery is created, I believe, by the imbalance of measures. While we may know the source of integrity must come from within, it becomes too easy to judge our integrity by external measures. Integrity, in my experience with the individual’s Trueness, seems to be a value that stands alone while infiltrating and influencing all the other values that an individual holds.

I have often said that the 21st-century belongs to the aware, focused, and loving leader. I believe it is the intrinsic value of integrity that actually pulls these three value-driven behaviors together, and into a powerful rhythm.

Let’s consider Cathy and Priya. They are each mature souls with different levels of experience in what we label as management on corporate organizational charts.

Cathy and I had only just begun to work together at the time of this writing. In our very first session our individual integrity met soul-to-soul. Cathy immediately told me about a relationship where collaboration needed to improve, and she was taking full responsibility for such improvement. Whether she consciously realized it or not, her inner integrity was in full force.

Cathy’s value of integrity is labeled, ‘Doing What’s Right.’ She is naturally focused on getting things done, getting them done in the right manner, and for the right reasons, a deeper motivation. Being delivery focused, she recognizes the importance of leading everyone to pull together, in the right direction. She knows such collaboration is foundational to success.

Richard Rohr says, “How we look at anything is how we look at everything.” As I write this, I am also aware that how I see integrity (in others and myself) is probably based considerably on what I’m looking for. I do want to believe there is a trend in the making when it comes to integrity in our behavior.

Priya is not questioning her integrity. However, I want to be sure that integrity isn’t under question, based on possible misunderstanding on her part. Albeit unconscious, Priya’s integrity is questioning whether she should be in the role of management. While both management and leadership are important, I reminded her that management and leadership are not synonymous. You manage processes, and you lead people; an individual does not want to be managed, he wants to be led.

The situations causing Priya to question her desires, abilities, assets, are related to managing difficult processes with people. From a leadership perspective, her desire, ability, assets, are fully intact from what I can see, all rooted in her integrity. For Priya, integrity and purpose are partners in meaning as she operates with an honest way of being in the presence of another, and being present with them. Priya’s stand in the middle is a tangible experience for others as she provides empowering clarity for the sake of opening individuals to the resources supportive of performance and execution.

Authenticity is who one truly is, since the beginning.

We must come to know this mystery of authentic integrity, not as something to be solved, but as something to be held, observed, and released into the flow of our Trueness. Now flowing, in authentic rhythm, integrity becomes the way your Trueness shows in the world. It takes great love to nurture and honor this internal to external flow.

The ability to hold mystery, observe its workings, and release its power into our leadership, is our unique brand of love.

The Word

Saying it, the word
often we may not
but unfolding, the essence
often we must.

Something to be feigned, it is not
fingers placed quickly to lips
demanding never again to lie.

For another can patiently be
observing, as time together goes
trusting, the essence to manifest
accepting the word when spoken.

The word itself
used precisely, or not
just the same, felt
by giver
by receiver
when from truth it flows.

To make one’s mark
to leave an impression
to know you’ve made
an impact
this is the stuff
of treasure, true gold
found in the self
the self you are
founded on the reality
of who you are.

The word
yes, the essence
originates in, with
and from, this reality.

–J. Brunson

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