At What Price Integrity in the Workplace

I am reasonably smart women, very well read, able to converse with pretty much anyone on many issues, able to see complexity as well as most of the most able, and yet I feel I  suffer in the world I work in, because I haven’t done a few things.

I haven’t:

Built a multi million dollar company.

Made millions.

Held a high power job at the senior level.

Written a best selling book. (Yet)

Worked with people well known for their outrageous success at making money and being famous.

Married the right guy??

Slept with the right guy…the one with the money, fame, connections.

I don’t;

Play golf.

Have time for the serious wanking that goes on over long business lunches or dinners.

Enjoy the whole ego stroking games that are endemic in the corporate world.

I am not into;

The seduction and manipulation that seems to be the requisite entry into the click of power.

Sleeping my way anywhere.

Compromising my own integrity in the workplace in any form just to get a leg up. (figuratively and literally)

I am certainly not a member of the Boys Club, which is another name for the club where all the wanking and ego posturing goes on, mostly made up of men. Its also the place where the inner deals are done, where governments are high jacked by money.

Instead I have;

Earned my own income for 26 years as a self employed person doing work I love, through my own creativity, determination, and persistence.

Raised a healthy, beautiful, emotionally strong child as a single parent since she was two.

Maintained a healthy, rich, vital relationship with my daughter through all of these years and been present for her major moments.

Stayed fit and healthy.

Built and maintained relationships with incredible people around the world who use the same kind of rule book as I do. (Unwilling to compromise their own integrity.)

Continued daily to put myself up for the highest degree of coaching, scrutiny, self reflection, feedback, learning, as I can find.

Learned that on my own I am a fraction of what I am when I collaborate with like minded others.

Lost money, been broke, been terrified of where the next dollar will come.

Traveled the world.

Made some serious mistakes, and some not so serious ones.

Spent too much on credit cards. (No longer.)

Yet I have realised that I am constantly apologising to myself for my own failures.(@#$!%%!!) I have still measured myself against the success of the old broken down model highlighted above…that I need to demonstrate my value by what I have done and the models I have built in the world that fit a particular perspective. How many people follow my blog, read my articles, hire me, pay me…how much money I have in the bank, who are my clients, what are my material assets…..

This is a seriously tiresome and entirely pointless waste of energy. This comparing and measuring stuff. As the artist Hugh MacLeod said, “Never compare your inside with somebody else’s outside.

Stop this useless waste of energy my head screams. Just stop. Cut it out. Stop my own BS/victim story. Enough already!

As Bucky Fuller said, “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”

I have been focusing too much on what doesn’t work, and how I don’t like that it doesn’t work.

Focus instead only on doing more and more about what matters most that I can change and influence.

Acting always and only from the highest level of integrity for the health of all of humanity and life.

Or as the great Seth Godin says in his wonderful book, “Linchpin”, practice my art, be indispensable and ship.

I asked my coach today what she thought was my “superpower” (a question Seth asks, referring to the super hero’s of the comic books).

Without a moments hesitation, she said, “Christine, you can see bullshit better than anyone I know.” (I did learn that skill by being seduced by great BS artists.)

Who is up for having a bullshit detector in their lives, or in the businesses? Who is up for that highest level of accountability to their own truth? (First I need to stop the BS around my comparison.) Who is up for Integrity in the workplace?

What organisations, politicians, NGO’s are up for this level of Integrity in the workplace? (Not many, sadly.)

And what value is this integrity in the workplace to you? To your company? Do you Dare?

I do believe in my heart that so many of us are over all the bullshit. That it is sickening, exhausting to maintain. Both the constant BS from others, and the endless BS we tell ourselves about ourselves. Yet sadly we have also reached a point where our bullshit detectors are dimmed by the constant barrage. We step over the lies and seductions from our politicians, and corporate leaders, knowing what they do, but pretending not to know how to stop it when BS seems to be all that happens. We have become immune, and bullshit is the golden staph of our age.

And the even more silent pandemic is the BS that we do not even know about. What goes on behind the scenes in the shadow corridors of money and power. Just how much we are under a spell of trickery and illusion.

Hmm…its time to roll up my sleeves and get out the shovel. There is so much work to be done on shining the light on the bullshit, and having done so, building in its place, integrity. People of integrity, systems of integrity, organisations of integrity, communities of integrity. Integrity in the workplace.

Who is up for this? More than the money, more than the fame, give me work that is a shining light of integrity. On this I wish to be measured.

 

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6 Comments on “At What Price Integrity in the Workplace”

  1. Love it! So right on it’s scary. Good on you for shining the light on all of the BS. I am quietly hopeful for you and know you will succeed… just don’t waste time measuring it and beating yourself up. I too am trying in my own little corner to keep my integrity intact and call others on their bad behaviour when I can. It’s an uphill battle on a daily basis and it is exhausting. Keep up the awesome work! p.s. I still think of your words of wisdom and how much you helped me and for tha I will always be grateful. Cheers, Nicole.

    1. Hi Nicole,

      thanks for your reply…lovely to connect again. We have to support each other as the world moves from just measuring the exterior as a representation of success.

      warmly,

      Christine

  2. Hi Christine
    I loved this article and related so very well to it. This week I was contacted by a man whom I went to school with back in the early 70’s. We were part of a circle of friends who stayed in touch into our 20’s, life experiences moved us all in different directions and as happens in life we all lost touch with each other. The last time I saw these people we were in our early 30’s and it was at the funeral of my late husband (he was a mate of this man)
    He sent me a lovely email asking if I would like to ‘catch up’ with him, his 2nd wife and his first wife, they are all on friendly terms which in itself is refreshing to hear – I was friends with his first wife also.
    I then received a further email updating me on their lives and their success including their holiday properties they own. All have gone on to become very successful within their chosen careers – in fact at the pinnacle of their industries. Their combined children have all thrived within their chosen careers.
    When I read the update, my heart sank to my stomach, my God I cant compete with these people – not that I want to compete, but it was really in my face my own lack of self worth and what is determined as being seen as ‘successful’ in the corporate world. The little victim in me rose up to show itself to me (yet again!) I thought I had this little demon tamed. All of a sudden I found myself beig challenged because I have not got the material wealth for the fruits of my labour. I now Live in a small duplex after losing the family home, mortgage free when I first moved here, with a failed business now find myself in my 50’s and with a mortgage yet again.
    Life has presented me with different opportunities and many challenges – opportunities to explore the truth of who I am, not what the world expects of me. Since my husband’s death 17years ago there have been numerous challenges both emotionally and financially – truth and integrity is something that I have held dear to my heart and have been penalised in the business world because I have stood in my truth of integrity and not played the corporate games. I have suffered financially as a result.
    I have not remarried in order to survive in this world – although twice nearly walked that path. I have chosen to stay single, raised two children who are now adults. My eldest giving up her corporate and successful career choosing a life of simplicity in the bush with her husband and small daughter. She is a force to be reconed with, completely into living a self sufficient life and putting back into mother nature. I continue to be inspired by her dedication and her wisdom in seeing the corporate world and city life full of ego’s and materialism, she no longer desires what the masses aspire to. They are almost self sufficient on their property with water tanks, dams, vege gardens, solar power and in their own small way contributing to the environment. My daughter now spends her days gardening, helping with their large property and actively involved at my grand daughter’s school and is a wild life carer. She loves her life and looks back on her busy corporate life that she maintained for 10 years and cannot believe in hindsight just how unhappy she was at that time – she used to spend a fortune on ‘stuff’ to help fill the big empty void she was feeling.
    My son is a tradesman, and recently moved back home due to the downturn in the economy. This blast from my past is giving me an opportunity now to really take a good long hard look at my little inner demons yet again. I am not my job, my house, my car. When all of this is stripped from your reality as mine has been in years gone by what you are left with is self – hard lessons but lessons I am truly grateful for.

    1. Hi Eve,
      thanks so much for sharing your story with so much dignity.
      Ultimately if we can look ourselves in the mirror and like what we see reflected because we have never compromised our integrity, we have lived a great life.
      I also think there is a new path being carved, and we are the pioneers.
      Our children and their children will hopefully not be measured by their exteriors alone, but who they are in the world.

      Blessings to you,
      Christine

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