Dr. Henry Cloud’s book on integrity uses an example of a boat cutting through a lake leaving twin plumes of water. According to Cloud, we cut two swaths behind us as we travel through time: people and relationships.
Dr. Cloud suggests that our legacy is defined by our personal wake. How is the quality of our relationships—in our families and in our business? And what is the quality (and quantity) of the tasks we’ve accomplished?
According to Cloud, the quality of an individual’s personal wake is mostly determined by his or her character and integrity. They are:
- Trust – The ability to connection authentically with others and to build trust.
- Truth – An orientation toward the truth, which leads to finding and operating in reality.
- Results Focused – The ability to get results and finish well which leads to you reaching goals, profits and mission.
- Embracing the Negative – The ability to deal with the negative which leads to ending problems, resolving them, or transforming them.
- Growth Focused – An orientation toward growth, improving.
- 6. Adaptability – The ability to be transcendent which leads to enlargement to a bigger picture and oneself.
Dr. Cloud ends the book with some take away points;
- Integrity isn’t something you “have or don’t have.” You have aspects where you do and other parts where you don’t.
- Even the high achievers don’t have it all together, they have gaps also.
- All of us have issues in our character that are great opportunities for growth and development, we’re all human and have flaws, accept it, embrace it, and keep on your journey.
- When you understand where character comes from you can better understand and accept your gaps and others.
- When you understand where character comes from you see what you can do to help you grow.
- The last item Dr. Cloud leaves us with is hope in that we know we can improve and see results.
It really does take integrity to have the courage to meet the demands of reality. It takes leading yourself first, and I think that’s the hardest person to lead.
If you’ve read the book, what are your thoughts?