In our house, we have always told our kids there are only two rules. Years ago, Monica and I decided that instead of making a long list of rules that would be impossible for our children to obey (much less us enforce), we needed to make the rules simple but impactful. As a result, we decided on only two rules: 1) Honesty always (there is no lying) and 2) Must respect Mom. We both felt (and still feel) these two rules develop the highest level of integrity in our children – honesty and respect. If they can’t learn to respect their mother, then it will be tough to respect anyone else.
I love our vision at FCA: to see the world transformed by Jesus Christ through the influence of coaches and athletes and our mission: to lead every coach and athlete into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ and his church. I find so much value and fulfillment in what we do and why we do it. We have values that serve as the pillars of both our vision and mission: Integrity, Serving, Teamwork and Excellence. Our team is spending the next four months focusing on each of these four values in order for us to stay connected to our why. Hopefully these will be useful for us all.
This month we will focus on Integrity. For us in FCA, integrity means we will value demonstrating Christ-like wholeness – privately and publicly. This is based on the great verse in Proverbs 11:3, “The integrity of the upright guides them, but the crookedness of the treacherous destroys them.” Ouch! Being leaders of integrity means being leaders focused on the right way to think, speak and ultimately lead.
I love this quote from Brené Brown; “Integrity is choosing courage over comfort; choosing what is right over what is fun, fast, or easy; and choosing to practice our values rather than simply professing them.”
What are some ways we can be a leader who practices the value of integrity? I will expand on each of these in the coming weeks.
- Awareness. Being self-aware may be one of the greatest keys to not only being leaders of integrity, but also living a joyful and fruitful life. Every leader needs to be aware of their strengths and weaknesses, how they communicate, how they handle conflict, and how all of this works together to influence those around us both positively and negatively.
- Accountability. The best and easiest way to be a leader who practices integrity is to first hold ourselves accountable to Jesus and how we have seen Him lead, and to hold ourselves accountable for what we say and do. Accountability is not easy, but it is necessary. Integrity requires accountability to truthfulness and spending time looking at the truth provided to us by Christ and the impact of our words and actions.
- Attitude. Finally, our attitude toward the ups and downs of life and leadership influence our integrity. Decision making, honesty and living in Christ-like wholeness are many times rooted in our psychological and emotional behavior.
I will expand on these three practices over the next few weeks. In the meantime, spend time this week answering these two assessment questions:
- Do you have a tendency to choose what is easy, fun or fast over what is right? Why do you feel you do this?
- What are 3 things you can do this week to practice integrity more intentionally in your life?