Integrity can’t be borrowed


One of the things I try hard to do in my role as a manager/leader in my workplace is to be transparent about my shortcomings, my mistakes and when others have helped me to do something that gets positive recognition.

It’s not hard to do these things, but the pace of the workweek is sometimes so busy that these seemingly-simple tasks can get lost. To stay on track with these important things, I have made a habit of intentionally stopping to address the issue(s) as soon as they come up. I’m not hitting it at 100% but I am working hard to reach that goal.

To achieve these self-imposed goals, I say “I was wrong” to my staff when I am, accepting responsibility without qualification. I apologize when I have done something that was hurtful or caused someone pain or distress – even if it was unavoidable or unintentional.

I acknowledge that it was not my genius, but the hard work or helpful coaching of another person (whom I name) that resulted in the gain or advance and I give credit to the source of the helpful hints I share, the solutions I offer to problems of the day and even the stories I tell.

The human experience is a collective one, thankfully! There’s no book anywhere that says we have to do it all, but there *is* a book – lots of books, actually – that say we need to be honest in our dealings with others. And when we are honest in our dealings with others, there is a universal law of reciprocation that directs honesty in dealings back to us.

We can borrow great ideas, compelling stories or sound advice from others. And most people with a good idea, compelling story or sound advice are happy to share. Isn’t that the basis for much of today’s social media? But it can be easy to forget that when a tweet, post or article inspires us to speak, write or tweet; the authors appreciate being acknowledged for providing some of that inspiration.

According to government sources on the laws about these things, there are 3 types of property that a person can own:  land (and things attached to the land like trees), personal property (things you can take with you, like clothes, jewelry, cars) and intellectual property.

Intellectual property refers to “…creations of the mind, such as inventions; literary and artistic works; designs; and symbols…

I would not steal tangible property from anyone, so I need to take care not to steal someone’s “creations of the mind” and present them to the world as my own.

In our increasingly online world, the concept of “intellectual property” may seem quaint and outdated. Wasn’t the internet built to bring us zillions of ideas with the click of a mouse, and if it’s out there for the world to see, how much “ownership” can or should any 1 person claim? This topic may even feel more appropriate for a legal blog than a spiritual blog, but I disagree.

I have a friend who uses the phrase, “…being impeccable in our word and deed“. It’s a great phrase and one I think of quite often when faced with a challenging decision. It has helped to remind me that I can borrow ideas; but integrity I must cultivate on my own.

And so as I continue on in my journeys, spiritual and professional; I rededicate myself to “impeccability” in my word and deed, knowing that as we sow, so shall we reap. I invite you to join me.

(C) 2017 Practitioner's Path

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