What Does Integrity Mean to You?

Is Your Sunday Separate from Your Monday?

Before I started Transformational Impact LLC, I worked with my friend Ben Case. Ben is reputedly one of the best major gift fundraisers in the world, having helped nonprofits raise more than $4.8 billion in his 41 years in fundraising and nonprofit management. Ben has also been a hallmark of honesty and integrity as long as I have known him. He tells a powerful story to explain the importance of integrity.

Integrity

I was in a meeting with my wife, Angela, and Robert McFarland, at the time a consultant with our company. … I was deeply resisting something Angela insisted I do. Angela thought that, as a business owner, I was required by law to do this. Our lawyer acknowledged there were “gray areas” as to the applicability of the law to our work. Give me “gray areas” and I will run with it forever. I did not want to do what Angela was telling me to do! Then Robert, who had been observing the discussion and my strong resistance, simply asked, “Ben, when are you going to have integrity—some of the time or all of the time?”

Live with integrity. In the walk of life, you will always be glad you did. Integrity means all the time. …

I did follow my wife’s advice, and am glad I did.

As Ben said, integrity means all the time. It is possible to be honest in one situation but not in another, but you can’t choose to have integrity one day and not the next. It’s all or nothing. Either you have integrity or you don’t.

In his book The Deeper Life, Daniel Henderson gives a good definition of integrity: “Integrity is a life where all the pieces fit together.” If you have integrity, then your life is integrated. You are not one way with some people and another way with other people. You are the same person all the time.

Henderson also explains what integrity is not: “compartmentalization is the opposite of integrity.” If you have to keep one part of your life separate from the rest of your life, you lead a compartmentalized life. If your Sunday is separate from your Monday through Saturday, you do not have an integrated life.

Integrity is about being honest with yourself: you know the real truth about the person you see in the mirror. You may be able to fool other people, but you can’t fool yourself. And you have to be with yourself all the time, so you know if you are trustworthy.

You need to be trustworthy all the time if you want to be trusted all the time. Here are three things to keep in mind to help you exhibit integrity.

Self-Awareness Is Key to Good Leadership

You Cannot Lead Well If You Do Not Know Yourself Well

If you are to become a good leader, self-awareness is something you must develop. In fact, self-awareness is one of the key fundamental building blocks of good leadership.

self-awareness

There are many powerful and wealthy heads of companies in the world who are not good leaders. They are driven by ego and are blind to their own weaknesses. As a result, they do not know themselves well.

As Polonius said in Hamlet,

This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.

To be true to yourself, you must know yourself. Developing self-awareness will help you in all areas of your life—not just with your team at work, but with your family relationships at home.

Here are three levels of self-awareness to develop as you progress as a leader.

Integrity Means All the Time

by Benjamin R. Case, President, Case Consulting Services, Inc.

When is it important to have integrity? Some of the time or all of the time? My friend Ben Case, President of Case Consulting Services, has been a hallmark of integrity as long as I have known him. And he tells a powerful story to explain to importance of integrity.

integrity

Before I started Transformational Impact LLC, I worked with Ben. He is reputedly one of the best major gift fundraisers in the world, having helped nonprofits raise more than $4.3 billion in his 40 years of fundraising. And he shares his expertise six days a week in the Tip o’ the Morning, a one-minute read covering the basic principles of fundraising (and sometimes life) that we need to know and practice to be successful.

Even though I no longer work with Ben, I still occasionally write a Tip o’ the Morning. And I am pleased to post an occasional Tip from Ben on my blog. Here’s Ben’s Most Valuable Tip (MVT) #44 entitled, “When Are You Going to Have Integrity—Some of the Time or All of the Time? Integrity Means All the Time.

The Three Parts of Business Leadership Integrity

The Three Disciplines Necessary to Cultivate a Healthy Business Culture

Integrity is important for your leadership. It is important for you to be the same person all the time, especially if you are running a business. The people in your charge are relying on you to display the kind of character that is necessary to produce a healthy business culture. That’s why it is imperative that you exhibit business leadership integrity.

Business Leadership Integrity and Healthy Business Culture

You can’t afford to be one kind of person at the workplace and one kind of person at home. That is not integrity. That is compartmentalization. And that will sabotage your business culture.

Here are three disciplines to implement to maintain business leadership integrity and develop a healthy business culture.

How You Can Clean Up Your Mess and Start Over

Sometimes things don’t go quite as you planned. Or they completely flop. And you have to clean up your mess. And figure out how to start over.

mess

It’s never easy to deal with disappointment—or even outright failure. It’s tempting to brood about it. Or to ignore it. Or to deny it ever happened.

I have lost count of the number of times that I have had to process what went wrong. And I know it’s no fun to have to admit that things didn’t work out.

But disappointment and failure can be great teachers. If you are willing to be taught by them. Based on my own experience, here are three steps you can take to clean up your mess and start over.

How to Make Time for Your Priorities

Why Integration—Not Balance—Should Be Your Goal

I once heard someone say, “Priorities are what gets done. Everything else is just talk.” You have the time for all your priorities. You just have to make time. Not by balancing your priorities, but by integrating your life.

make time

When I say integrating, I am talking about the opposite of compartmentalizing. When you see your life as a whole—and not the sum of parts—then you will better be able to make time for what is important. Besides, you will never be able to achieve balance in your life. Something will always outweigh everything else in your schedule. But if you integrate your life, you can make time for what is important to you.

Here’s how you can integrate your life to make time for your priorities.

If You’re Going to Be In, Be All In

If you’re living what you believe only half-heartedly, you’re not going to gain the full benefit of what you believe.  If you’re going to be in, be all in.

be all in

Being a Christian involves noble aspirations.  Changing lives.  Saving lives.  Making the world a better place.  But Jesus called us to more than just noble aspirations.

Jesus called us to live the abundant life (John 10:10).  But many don’t get to that point in their spiritual life because they don’t fully commit.

Here are three questions to consider about what you can do to live the abundant life.  To live out your faith more intentionally.  And to be all in.

How to Inspire Confidence in Your Leadership with Your Team

When you are in a leadership role, it is crucial that your team believes in your ability to lead them.  That’s why you must work with your team to inspire confidence in your leadership.

inspire confidence

Your ability to lead isn’t really about what you know.  It is more about inspiring them to believe that you have their best interests at heart.

Here are four things you can do to inspire confidence in your leadership ability.

How to Develop Transparency with Your Team

In today’s business culture, we have grown accustomed to people lying to us—or at least not being up front with us.  It seems commonplace to feel like we’re being snowed.  That’s why it is imperative that you have a transparency mindset with your team.

transparency

Your team will want to believe you.  But they are used to being conned.  So you will have to surmount their jaundiced view of management.

Here are three ways you can overcome distrust by developing a practice of transparency.

How to Build Trust with Your Team

Trust is a fragile thing.  We want our team to trust us, but trust cannot be developed overnight.  You can only build trust through a consistent relationship maintained over time.

build trust

In developing an environment of trust with your team, it is important to show yourself trustworthy.  And then to show your team that they can trust the others on the team too.

Here are three principles to remember as you build trust with your team.