Welcome back to my series on Conscious Leadership! In this series, I’m going to summarize some key principles from a book I read earlier this year: The 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership by Jim Dethmer, Diana Chapman, and Kaley Warner Klemp. With this series, I hope to shed some light on the fast moving trend that is Conscious Leadership, and explain why you should consider integrating these 15 commitments into your existing leadership style or lifestyle, in general.

Here in Part 7 of the series, we are going to take a look at the sixth Commitment of Conscious Leadership: Practicing Integrity.

COMMITMENT SIX: Practicing Integrity

In Part 1 of this series we described the notion of Leading Above the Line or Leading Below the Line. The simple question leaders can ask themselves to determine how Consciously they are Leading is “am I leading below the line or above the line?

For Commitment # 6: Practicing Integrity, the difference between leading above the line versus leading below the line is as follows:

Above the Line: I commit the practice of integrity, including acknowledging all authentic feelings, expressing inarguable truths, keeping my agreements, and taking 100% responsibility.

Below the Line: I commit to withholding my truth, denying my feelings, not keeping my agreements, and not taking 100% responsibility.

The Four Pillars of Integrity

  1. Take 100% responsibility
  2. Speak authentically
  3. Feel your feelings through to completion
  4. Impeccable Agreements

These pillars, originally formulated by Gay and Kathlyn Hendricks, have been discussed in one or more previous parts of this series, with the exception of the last pillar, which involves the way leaders handle their agreements. An agreement is anything you’ve said you will do or will not do and exists between two or more people. Agreements can be small, like “I’ll take out the trash after work” or big “I will pay for your college tuition”, but breaking either a small or a large agreement also breaks your energy.

Source: https://quotefancy.com/quote/132516/Tom-Peters-There-is-no-such-thing-as-a-minor-lapse-of-integrity

Impeccable Agreements

To handle agreements impeccably, a leader should practice mastering these four practices:

  1. Making clear agreements
    • Be precise about who will do what and by when.
    • Ensure that everyone involved is fully committed to the agreement.
    • Keep track of all the agreements you make.
  2. Keeping agreements
    • Do what you say you will when you say you will do it.
  3. Renegotiating agreements
    • As soon as you realize you’re not going to keep an agreement, communicate directly with the affected parties and renegotiate it.
  4. Cleanup up broken agreements
    • You will periodically fail to keep or even renegotiate your agreements. In this case you will want to cleanup your broken agreements. Keep your statement short and simple, taking 100% responsibility for not doing (or doing) it. Ask if there is anything you can do to cleanup the broken agreements.

Checking in with your Integrity

A conscious leader should often check in with themselves and their integrity. Asking yourself the following questions should aide in this:

  1. Have I allowed myself to feel all my feelings about….(my childhood, my parents, my career, etc.)
  2. Is there anything I’ve been withholding from….(my spouse, myself, my boss, etc.)
  3. Is there anything I’ve been withholding about….(money, judgements, emotions, desires, etc.)
  4. Have I kept all my agreements with…(my spouse, my children, myself, etc.)
  5. Have I kept all my agreements about….(money, time, health, etc.)
  6. Am I blaming….(my past, my circumstances, my physical condition, etc.)

Conclusion

Integrity is essential to conscious leadership and it is much more than simply doing the right thing – it is living a life of congruency and alignment with your agreements. When an organization’s flow of energy is broken by integrity breaches, leadership is damaged and employee engagement decreases.When a leader commits to the practice of impeccable integrity, they lead their organization’s culture to be engaged, passionate, purposeful, creative, relaxed, and refreshed.

Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for Part 8 of the Conscious Leadership series, where we’ll dive into Commitment 7 of the 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership.