Lessons Learnt 5: Integrity


This is not buzzword bingo

Integrity can be boiled down to mean ‘being true to your word’. That’s fine, however, most of us don’t know what our ‘word’ is.

Identifying your values can only come from identifying what is important to you and what impact you want to have. Noting that all great plans of mice and men may oft go awry.

I went through this process (by the way it took over a year – an afternoon is only a start) with my business coach, Sara Milne Rowe of Coaching Impact. Nowadays this is something I continue to build on and work on. Below are some key questions that I use to re-evaluate and interrogate what I am doing and how I am choosing to live:

  • What really matters to me
    • Being and creating inspiration
  • Why it really matters to me
    • Bringing great ideas to life to make positive change
  • What are my skills, personality, projects that truly reflect what is most important
    • I work on extraordinary projects with extraordinary people to bring ideas to life
    • I have a broad, outside in, approach with logical and strategic intent
    • I am driven, living with this ambition isn’t a ‘nice to have’, this is core ‘must do’
  • What I am doing to enable this
    • Building businesses
    • Collaborating on extraordinary projects
    • Building partnerships and opening discussions
    • Taking opportunities to travel, read, experience things that push my knowledge and dislodge my assumptions
    • Have a daily routine that focusses on my physical, mental and emotional wellbeing so I can operate at the best level.
  • Set my vision
    • Bring great ideas to life, focussing on the future of advanced engineering to realise this ambition
  • Set the characteristics based on what I value
    • Integrity
    • Curious
    • Bold
    • Inspire
  • Set my principles
    • Communicate by listening
    • Think bigger
    • Feedback is a gift
    • Slow down to speed up
    • Confidence
    • Break down / challenge constructs
    • Work hard (luck is an opportunity well prepared for)
    • Integrity at the core
    • Learn more

Then repeat and repeat and ask at each turn is this really what I want to be doing, is this really what I should be doing. This focus, without even trying, builds your integrity and comes through naturally.

This is just the tip of the iceberg in this process. The biggest thing I’ve learnt is breaking down social and cultural perceptions to really build true integrity and importantly not being afraid to change. What I’m doing now is right for now but I would expect this to evolve (not necessarily change) on a yearly basis. We are mostly transient so change through growth should be expected, however, the core truths in place today are unlikely to change tomorrow.

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