As humans we are fractured. Many people are broken and bruised. As a leader you have the responsibility of helping in the restoring process. Restoration is one of my favorite words. It means to bring back to the original state.
What is our original state? Wholeness. And that’s what the word integrity means, “to be whole.” For us to help others be whole we have to be whole ourselves. When I talk like this in the business world, I sometimes get negative feedback. Leaders tell me that they are not running a rehabilitation program. And even though they are right in the fact that they are not in the “rehabilitation work”, they are in the people business.
And people need to be restored. People need to feel good about themselves. As a leader it is our job to help them feel good about themselves. We are responsible “to our team not for our team.” John Maxwell. Mary Kay said, ” imagine everyone has a sign around their neck that says ‘MMFI’, make me feel important.” If you want to be successful, make people feel important. If you want to be a successful husband, make your wife feel important. If you want to be a successful employee, make your customers and supervisors feel important. If you want to be a successful leader, make your team members feel important, everyone of them!
When you truly connect with someone and you want them to perform a certain task, like leading a team discussion or a team meeting, wouldn’t it be nice to know they have a fear of public speaking? Most people do. I have helped so many people overcome that fear. You really bond with someone when you can help them overcome something like that.
When we help people grow, when we help them overcome things, we help ourselves and our organization. Let me say it like this. Your business will grow when your people will grow. And your people will grow when you grow. Your business grows to the extent that you grow.
John Maxwell in his book The 15 Invaluable laws Of Growth says “growth is not natural and you have to grow intentional.” Then he asks the question “so you have a plan to grow?” I ask the question “what do you plan to grow into?”
I say all this because if your people are going to grow, you will have to grow first. If your people are going to be whole and restored, you will have to be whole first. “Such as I have I give to you.” You can’t give something you don’t have.
What does it mean to “be real?” it means integrity! As I said integrity means whole. I am talking about being “the real you.” If you’re going to create a great team, you’re going to do it by raising up a team of leaders. A team of leaders that get results. A team of leaders that reproduce not only your abilities but theirs as well. You can only do this if you walk, lead and live with integrity.
Integrity is a construction word. If the steel in the bridge is not the specific grade that the engineers ordered, it will be said “that the bridge’s integrity is compromised. The opposite of integrity is hypocrisy.
Being a hypocrite is not being the real you. The word hypocrite is an old Greek word and was used to describe actors. Actors that wore masks in the ancient Greek plays. A hypocrite is someone that wears a mask and “pretends” to be someone else.
Your integrity and your wholeness is one of the most important attribute of your leadership’s tool box. Actually its one of the most important things in your life’s journey and your own personal growth!
The Apostle Paul said that “the real you is the hidden man of the heart.” This real you is the best version of yourself. Some people taunt their flaws and claim them as “their real self.” This might be their real self but it is also their broken self. We need to be our real whole self. Not our hypocritical broken selves.
What I mean by this is this. We have all heard of “wolves in sheep’s clothing.” And we all can agree that it means a bad person pretending to be good. Usually it is referring to a con artist. Someone that is pretending to want to help you but in reality they want to take advantage of you.
First of all let me say I don’t believe that there are “bad people”, there are people with bad habits and actions. It helps me believe in people when I think about their better selves are hidden in their hearts. My goal is to draw that better self out.
To me it is not a matter of “wolves in sheep’s” clothing as much as it is sheep in wolves’ clothing. What I mean is the real you is good but the outward you, not so much. Your real hidden you is full of faith, boldness, goodness, confidence, kindness, love, patience and peace. The outward you is clothed with doubt, fear, corruption, insecurity, cruelty, anger, impatience and anxiety.
Just look at the synonyms of the word goodness; goodness is what is in your heart.
Friendliness, generosity, good will, grace, graciousness, honesty, integrity, kindness, mercy, morality, righteousness, rightness, superiority, virtue, advantage, benefit, benevolence, honor, humanness, kindheartedness, kindliness, merit, nourishment, obliging, quality, rectitude, uprightness, value, wholesomeness, worth and ethically.
Now look at goodness’s antonym or opposite, this is what might be on your outside or your behavior.
Corruption, dishonor, cruelty, dishonesty, evil, immorality, meanness, disadvantage, handicap, hindrance, loss, indecency and wickedness.
The Apostle Paul said that we need to “clothe our outer man with our inner man.” We need to take all the goodness in our hearts and then let that be our outer actions.
Some people are like a dormant fruit tree. They have the life of the fruit inside them but they are dormant. They do not have any fruit on their branches. I believe we have goodness in us and when we become whole or have integrity or become our real selves we will behave “good”!
There is a concept: Be Do Have. Usually we as humans get things backwards. Like we think its seeing is believing, no it’s believing is seeing. We think its emotion = motion, meaning “I will feel it first then do it.” No it’s motion = emotion. Meaning “I will do it then I will feel it.” We think it is take and I will receive. No it is give and you shall receive. We think it is talk, talk, talk and be interesting and people will follow us. No its listen, listen, listen and be interested in others and people will follow you. We think to be great we will be served but really we become great when we serve.
We think it is, Have Do Be, or Do Have Be. No it’s Be Do Have. We think if I just had a better, job or spouse, I could do more and then I could be happy! We think if I had more money, a better education, I could do more and then I could be happy. We say “if you pay me more I will do more and then I will be a better employee.
It’s BE DO HAVE! Be more and you can do more and then you will have more. Be the “you” that you already are in your heart and you will do good things and then you will have the desires of your heart!
Be the real you! I share with people all the time when it comes to public speaking, “just be you!” in other words most people are trying to be someone or something else when they speak in front of a group. Just be your true self!
Our team has to be restored to their true real self before they can reproduce the results we want. And before they can be restored and whole we have to be. We have to be restored to our true real self before we can reproduce the results we want.