Integrity: Words = Actions

Adam Grant recently said: “The easiest way to practice what you preach is to preach what you already practice. Hypocrisy is the results of actions falling short of words.”

This idea of only preaching what you already personally practice is simple, yet powerful. And, not always easy.

For example, over my 20+ year corporate career, I have heard dozens of senior leaders ‘talking the talk’ of authenticity. Telling people it’s OK to ‘bring your whole self to work’ and that being courageous and vulnerable is essential to innovation, trust and creativity.

Unfortunately, I only need one hand to count the number of senior leaders I have seen truly ‘walking the walk’ of courageous authenticity.

The practice of self fidelity bridges the gap between words and actions and illuminates a path from hypocrisy to true integrity.

Leaders who commit to the practice of self-fidelity can expect to transform their relationship with themselves – and their relationships with all others by building trust from the inside-out.

This practice is vital in a world that is constantly trying to convince us to fit-in and to choose what’s easy over what’s brave and true.

So, if you want to step into your integrity and only preach what you already practice where do you start?

Well, one place to start is by spending some time getting clear on what you stand for.

What are the beliefs that you hold dear? In the words of Oprah ‘What do you know for sure?

If you are not clear on what you stand for you, can use the questions in last week’s post The Courage Of Your Convictions to get clear.

Once you are clear on what you stand for, your next task is to do an honest assessment on the extent to which you actions consistently demonstrate these beliefs.

As Ralph Waldo Emerson wisely said “What you do speaks so loudly, I can’t hear what you’re saying” .

Self-Fidelity Practice to Play With This Week

Here are four simple questions that I invite you to reflect upon this week. These questions have the potential to guide you towards integrity:

QUESTION 1: What do I stand for?

QUESTION 2: Of this list, what are my 2-3 most strongly-held beliefs?

QUESTION 3: For each of these core beliefs, looking back over the last few months, to what extent have my actions, choices and priorities clearly reflected these beliefs?

QUESTION 4: What small change will I commit to this week to create stronger alignment between my core beliefs and my actions?

Peace is your home, integrity is your way to it, and everything you long for will meet you there.”

Martha Beck

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