In the dynamic landscape of business, where challenges and opportunities intermingle, the role of a conscious transformational leader becomes paramount. This week, let’s delve into the cornerstone of conscious transformational leadership – Integrity. Beyond being a buzzword, integrity forms the bedrock of a leader’s credibility, trustworthiness, and the ability to inspire profound change. As we navigate the intricacies of modern leadership, let’s uncover the significance of integrity and how it intertwines with the fabric of conscious leadership.

WHAT IS INTEGRITY

When you look at the etymology of the word integrity you will see a few definitions. One is that it has the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles, another is the state of being whole and undivided, unified or being sound, in other words, being whole and complete. Our being and energy flow easily, if there is nothing blocking you from being whole and complete. What do I mean by that, well, for example, when you have broken a promise to someone, you tend to ruminate over it in your brain and you often feel guilty about it. That thinking, might take 10% of your total thoughts away from your focus. You are now not whole and complete. You often then avoid that person for awhile, until enough time passes so that you can push it under the table, so to speak. Another example is when you let yourself down, for example, if you wanted to start exercising on the Monday, but you didn’t, you let yourself off the hook, and now you will feel bad and often will make yourself wrong for this. This is what broken promises leave you with; the feeling of not being whole and complete.
In coaching, we use something called energy leadership; there are two different types of energy that we see exhibited in leadership. Conscious leaders exhibit the higher levels of what we call Anabolic Energy; which, when you are around it it lifts you, it motivates, energises and inspires you. When you break promises and commitments, your energy shifts into Catabolic Energy, which shuts you down, depresses you or takes your energy away. Broken promises are like that, they will shift you into Catabolic Energy, so you will feel down. Other things that will push you into Catabolic Energy are truths that you don’t speak out loud to the other person or to yourself, responsibilities that you either take on and they are not yours, or responsibilities you have but push off and lastly feelings you either don’t want to feel and push off or suppress. All of these will push you into the Catabolic Energy state. The game you need to start playing with yourself is to build awareness around these two types of leadership energy for yourself. Practice becoming aware of that shift in energy and what lies at the root of that; is it broken promises, is it not taking responsibility, is it not allowing the feelings to be felt, or is it not speaking your truth?
So let’s define Integrity and look into what the 4 levels include. Being honest and keeping your promises & commitments are definitely the first level, but it is much more than that:
Level 1: Keeping your promises.
Level 2: Keeping your promises and honouring your word. In other words, giving the words you speak ‘honour’. Being present to what you say, choosing carefully, being clear (what, where, when) and then committing from there. If you break your promise, as often, life happens, then you clean up by taking responsibility and being authentic about what happened, and if you can re-establish a new commitment. That is HONOURING your word; it goes further than just keeping your promises.
Level 3: Honouring your word, plus living a life in alignment with a set of values.
Level 4: Honouring your word, having a set of values you live by and your actions and words are all in alignment with those values, working towards a vision, purpose or goal.
If you choose to live your life from Level 4 Integrity, that is a powerful life, manifestations happen easily hear because your word actually has power. You do what you say, when you say, how you know it should be done and nothing stops you. It comes with taking radical responsibility, feeling your feelings, keeping your word impeccable & speaking your truth. You become unstoppable. Extraordinary things start to happen and you begin to the see the magic, the serendipity in life and in leadership. Conscious leaders know when they are in integrity and when they are out of integrity, because that magic starts to diminish.

THE ESSENCE OF INTEGRITY IN LEADERSHIP:

1. Transparency as a Guiding Light: Conscious leaders are transparent, a quality that stems from unwavering integrity. Transparent leaders embrace openness, providing their teams with a clear view of decisions, motives, and organizational directions. By aligning actions with values, they foster a culture of honesty that builds trust, laying the groundwork for sustainable success.
2. Authenticity Breeds Trust: Conscious leaders understand the profound impact of authenticity on trust-building. Upholding integrity means embracing authenticity – being true to oneself and one’s values. Authentic leaders inspire trust by showcasing vulnerability, acknowledging mistakes, and remaining steadfast in their commitment to ethical principles.
3. Making Ethical Decisions: Conscious leaders face a multitude of decisions. Integrity becomes their North Star, guiding them through ethical dilemmas. Whether navigating complex negotiations, implementing organizational changes, or fostering diversity and inclusion, leaders with integrity make decisions rooted in ethical principles.
4. Energy Leadership: Conscious leaders are aware of their energy shifts and they practice integrity to stay in Anabolic Energy. They notice the shift into Catabolic Energy and when they feel that, they look for the root cause; broken word, lack of responsibility, not saying what needs to be said and not feeling what needs to be felt. Then they deal with that!

NURTURING INTEGRITY IN YOUR LEADERSHIP:

1. Define Your Core Values: Cultivate self-awareness to identify and articulate your core values. These values serve as the compass directing your decisions and actions. Clearly defined values create a foundation for conscious leadership anchored in integrity.
2. Lead by Example: Your actions speak louder than words. Demonstrate the values you espouse through consistent actions. By embodying integrity in your everyday conduct, you set the standard for your team, fostering a culture where ethical behavior is the norm. Clean up when you break your word.
3. Embrace Accountability: Conscious leaders acknowledge their mistakes and learn from them. They take radical responsibility. Cultivate a culture of accountability within your team, encouraging open communication about challenges and fostering an environment where learning and growth are celebrated.
4. Foster a Culture of Trust: Prioritize trust-building within your organization. Actively seek and value input from your team, fostering an environment where diverse perspectives are welcomed. A culture of trust propels collaboration, innovation, and sustained success.

CONCLUSION: A LEGACY OF INTEGRITY

In the tapestry of conscious leadership, integrity weaves a narrative of trust, authenticity, and ethical decision-making. As you navigate the complex currents of business, let integrity be the lodestar guiding your leadership journey. Notice your energy shifts and then identify the root cause. Nurture a culture where transparency, authenticity, and ethical choices prevail. By embodying the pillars of conscious leadership, you not only inspire your team but also leave a lasting legacy of integrity in the ever-evolving landscape of business leadership.

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