Two Views Of Integrity…

Leadership

Recently I made the decision to leave an organization that I have been part of and that I have strongly supported and promoted for the better part of fourteen years.

Now certainly, my resignation wasn’t something that just developed overnight. To be sure, these things rarely are, though it is likely that the end came much quicker than anyone might have imagined.

That said, there is little doubt in my mind that we’re all better off for the time we had together… and we’ll all certainly be better off by going our separate ways in the future.

Without naming names, it is important to realize that, over time, organizational rules and processes can become a burden and hindrance to growth… and it is my opinion that this particular organization’s rules and processes have done just that. Similarly over time, personal ambitions and missions change… and mine most definitely have.

No question.

But there was a bigger issue… one of integrity and character. You see, some time back many began to see a large disparity between the stated purpose of the organization and the demonstrated results of the organization. In fact, an analysis of the previous decade reveals red flags missed on virtually every leadership level.

What for me started as concern several years ago now began to grow into doubt, culminating in a near-complete loss of faith in the ability of the organization to deliver on its stated purpose.

And while goals and dreams and purposes and priorities may be God-given, I believe organizations and clubs and companies are man-made.

Period.

I also believe that not every fight is a necessary fight, and not every hill is a hill worth dying on. Further, I believe that as much as Pride says otherwise, there are times when it makes sense to agree to disagree, part with respect, and walk away.

**************************************************************************************************************

Now, here’s what’s interesting… at least to me :)

Those beliefs mentioned above led to a very enlightening conversation about character and integrity earlier this week… a conversation which looked at the same situation and saw two opposite points of view, at least until I asked the big question.

For nearly fifteen minutes, I listened intently as this gentleman described the past, present and future issues of this organization. I agreed that at one time they were on the right track and that given the right set of circumstances, the leadership could do a one-eighty and begin to serve the field teams again. And I also acknowledged that at one time, many believed I would lead that charge.

So, he asked, would I consider changing my mind?

No.

Frustrated, he continued, “How can you leave an organization that you once promoted? After all, there are those who look up to you… those who are counting on you! That’s an integrity issue… a character issue… a commitment issue!”

I let the dust settle, and then asked this simple question.

“I spent years within my sphere of influence trying to correct the situation… and within the last three months have been told the changes needed would not happen… at least not before the Second Coming :) What do you see as greater integrity… to go out and vigorously sell something you do not believe in? Or, would it be greater integrity to stop promoting what you don’t believe in, and provide a different solution entirely?”

He just smiled, and said, “You know we’re going to miss you.”
“Hey, you didn’t answer my question,” said I.
He was still smiling, even more broadly now… yes, his smile said it all.

I look forward to speaking with you.

 

Photo Credit:

Darwin Bell

2 thoughts on “Two Views Of Integrity…

  1. Until this moment I thought you didn’t… or maybe you couldn’t understand where I was operating from in May and June.

    I thought that while I was praying about where in the creation/admin process I’d led wrongly and while I was praying for discernment, clarity, wisdom about what to do next; you were ‘fielding’.

    I understood that there was very little time in your day not already spoken for.

    Now I’m not sure that “couldn’t” understand is accurate. Maybe you chose to exercise your prerogative to listen, sympathize and invest your time and support elsewhere within my organization.

    Either way, I admire and respect you. I appreciate your influence in my life. I know you are a man of integrity and I thank you for the investments you made in me.

  2. Hey Laurie, the other day someone asked me whether I felt that our Mentor Host Network had really made a difference in the lives of people in general, and whether I personally felt that I had made an impact with you and the rest of the team in particular.

    I told them that I was certain… 100% positive and for sure… and that, in fact, I knew without a shadow of a doubt… that even in the great State of Texas, I had had a profound effect on Laurie Zieber’s new-found appreciation for my incredible choices and tastes in music… :)

    Laurie, you are a gifted and talented leader and a woman of influence, passion and integrity. Your words and actions have inspired, and will continue to inspire, countless women and young women to become everything they can be while living a life of no regrets.

    Thank you for your kind words… thank you for bringing me into your inner-circle and for introducing me to fascinating and caring individuals, some of whom will be my friends for life. Please know that I value your friendship and that the admiration, respect and appreciation you voiced toward me is most certainly a two-way street.

    Have a terrific day – Steve

Comments are closed.