IMPACTING LIVES ● DEVELOPING LEADERS
Session 8: Integrity Conclusion “There often seems to be a fear against becoming a balanced person, as if accomplishment only belongs to the truly dysfunctional.” ‐Dr. H. Cloud
SESSION 8 OBJECTIVES: • To understand the overarching components that either encourages or limit our growth. (THINK it). • To determine what our own personal barriers and encouragments are as they relate to our continued character growth and development. (MEAN it.) • To develop a plan specifically tailored to address our individual character growth challenges. (SHOW it.) WHAT and SO WHAT?
Chapter 13: “Where Did it Go?” Key Ideas: o No matter how bright, talented, and educated, we still can have “chinks” in our armor: areas of personal weakness that can really get in our way. (pg. 263-267) o What can we do about it? 1. Understand why you might have some “gaps” to work on. 2. Accept yourself and realize that there’s nothing wrong with having gaps. 3. Know what to do next to resolve them. o We have a natural tendency to hide the areas where we have the greatest opportunity for growth. Two things happen: ¾ You hide more and ignore areas of needed growth ¾ You begin to more steadfastly believe that people who are achievers don’t have big holes in them. In fact, we begin to assume it is their lack of development in certain areas that got them to where they are! Consider the driven or dictator-type leader…
For discussion: Based on past experience as well as this chapter, what do you think is necessary for an individual to begin to work on areas of personal weakness? What sort of environment is least conducive to that kind of transparent growth? How do we as an organization better create the healthiest environment for leaders to grow in? o o
Where does incompleteness originate? (pg. 267- 272) Family, schools, experiences, friends, churches, and other influencers impact our character makeup in many ways during the formative years. The good news: you can have new experiences that reshape your character and engrave new patterns. The section on “growth” involved intentionally placing yourself in new and challenging situations that will stretch you past your current abilities, which by definition is your past experience. We can also lack GOOD experiences that teach us how to be the people we need to be. To grow in character and integrate these aspects of ourselves, we have to see it done first. We need good character models. Valuable, structured feedback can be lacking. This is one of the saddest things I see in leadership consulting. The “boss” relationship should be just this way: observe, give feeback, coach, monitor, and grow. Instead, too often it falls into the “ignore and zap” mentality.
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IMPACTING LIVES ● DEVELOPING LEADERS For discussion: We are both on the receiving and giving end of these impediments to character growth. As a leader in TMSi, what do you see as your greatest opportunity to be a positive influence in the growth of someone else? Are there areas that we as a company could do a better job in helping you grow?
How many psychologists does it take to change a light bulb? One, but the light bulb has to really want to change.
Factors for continued growth (pg. 272-279) Support: Encouragement to do the hard thing… a push! It has to side not only with us as people, but also with our need to grow. The best support does not let us off the hook! Without this kind of support, avoidance too often takes over. o Healthy Practice: If you have not had a safe place to develop different aspects of who you are, and to practice in ways that your career or life is not at risk, you have probably not developed certain character traits. Fear-based corporate cultures stagnate new growth. People are too busy guarding their back. In the same way that technical skills are built through training and practice, so are character abilites. o Proper Motivation: What motivates people to develop character? Reality losses, rewards, and consequences – you see character change when people have to finally face the reality that their lack of ability in some area is costing them. If you are going to grow and develop or help someone else, you will have to get out of the “ought to’s” and into reality. When you realize that you are only going to get what you desire through the character growth that is needed, you will get to work. o The Heart: We’ve all heard these: Anyone can change, but they have to want to. You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink. It is a fundamental truth of human existence that we are both determined and autonomous. Call it timing or heart, but some people are just not either ready to change or don’t want to. Some people have integrity and growth issues because they are unwilling to make the shifts that character demands. o
For discussion: As you consider these four factors for continued growth, have you observed a circumstance where one or more have been pivotal in someone’s growth? Is there one that has been particularly important for your personal growth? o
A Question of Genetics… There is some truth in that someone’s constitutional makeup and temperament have bearing on their character issues…(pg. 278) Your character integrity is a combination of the cards you have been dealt and how you have played them.
For discussion: What do you think about Dr. Cloud’s connection between genetics and character issues and development?
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IMPACTING LIVES ● DEVELOPING LEADERS
A few takeaway points… (279-280) ¾ Integrity is not something that you either “have or don’t have”. You probably have aspects where you do, and parts where you don’t. ¾ You might think that the high achievers somehow have it all together, but they don’t. ¾ All of us have issues in our character that are great opportunities for growth and development. You are not bad, inadequate, or somehow defective because of that. ¾ When you understand where character comes from, you can better understand and accept why you and some others that you know have some gaps inside. ¾ Also, that same understanding gives you a glimpse of the kinds of things that are going to help you grow. ¾ Lastly, there is hope. When you get motivated by the reality desires that you have and realize that changes can bring those to fruition, you can get moving and see results.
For discussion: Are there any lingering questions or comments that you have from either this closing chapter or the book as a whole? As you look back on the many months of reading and discussion, what would you say has been the most important piece of learning for you? INTEGRITY: The Courage to Meet the Demands of Reality
NOW WHAT? What one area of character is the one you need to devlop more purposefully moving forward? How will you do that? (SMART Goal?)
S = SPECIFIC M= MEASURABLE A= ATTAINABLE R=REALISTIC T=TIMELY
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