Im back on line!…. Its been quite a busy week, meeting up with childhood friends, family visits, new hosts, helping my sister out with her small business, celebrating dad, reading, cv writing, job hunting, etc… all good things. Wanted to write the last part of the Jensen report a few days ago, but as you can read, there was little time… until now.
Perhaps this is one of the topics that I liked the most during the seminar: Integrity. As defined by our coaches, it means Honoring your word, that is, to do what you say you will do, by the time you say you will do it, and, in case you cant do it, the ability to say that you wont do it and compensate or fix “the mess” you create when you say you wont do X. According to Werner and Prof. Jensen integrity is the basis for the effective practice of Leadership. I have to say that I do agree with this belief profoundly, however, I also realize that it is perhaps one of the most difficult thing we, humans, can do for ourselves. I mean, many of us try to avoid conflicts with people and give our word lighthly just to show our apparent commitment or interest in something, but never follow through or do what we said we would do. In doing so, we create a “mess” by damaging our reputation, integrity and the trust others have on our selves (Dependability), but also, this irresponsible behavior can go beyond our circle of influence and end up damaging third parties that “depend on our word”.
For many of us this behaviours are already fermented in our way of being and, consequently, we act heuristically, that is, without reasoning or being aware. I guess you can already imagine the effects that giving our word lightly has on our performance and in our lifes. I must say that it hit me like a rock to realize that I’ve been prey of these behaviors MANY TIMES during my life. I used to do it either to escape the immediate pressure of the decision, or to delay being responsible for anything, always unconsciously. However, during the seminar I made the promess to my self that I would attempt to Honor my word on a constant basis. It has proven to be extremely difficult, however, the fact that I now think throughly before commiting to something gives me more control over what I say I will do and over what I say I will not do. Just a quick example, I’ve always used to be late for anything, class, meetings, reunions, etc, and it is not that I woke up late or something like that, it is that I rationalized that (even when I was prepared long before the given time) there was enough time prior the appointment, and in doing so, consumed most of my time and rushed at the last minute, obviously, being late most of the time. 🙂 ( My cultural background some might say….)
But something interesting happened when I promised myself to honor my word, suddenly I felt that no longer would I like to be perceived by others as undependable or irresponsible. I want others to know that I’m a responsible person whom they can trust. Shifting the focus has improved my performance in many areas of my life, for instance, I’m now able (I was able… I mean it in the sense of awareness) to tell someone that I wont do a thing without feeling the “guilty feeling” I used to have by not helping them out, because now I explain that I wouldnt like to commit to something I might not be able to follow through in the future and them damage their image of me, and my own integrity. Or even with myself, saying I wont do this or that because it causes me harm or worry; its hard to do, but in the end the feeling you get when you follow through is one of control, empowerment and self-reliance…. at least it is how I experience it. Some may think it is pretty obvious, or that they already know….. but trust me…. knowing doesnt mean you really do it correctly on a constant basis… It is pretty hard to achieve.
There were many things else that were covered in the seminar, however, they are too difficult to explain with normal words…. it is something you should experience if you’re like the idea of improving your self as a leader and as a person. I recommed this seminar to people who are truly interested in developing their selves and who are open to try different perspectives of life. Im sure that you can benefit from many good ideas that are expressed along the week-long seminar, however, the mastery of these new behaviors will require your best effort and dedication.
And, as Werner said: If you think you’re good enough…. odds are you are not that good anyway…. there’s always room for improvement. 🙂