Integrity-The Courage to Meet the Demands of Reality

I have been reading “Integrity – The Courage to Meet the Demands of Reality” by Dr. Henry Cloud (the same guy who wrote “Boundaries”).  I still have a ways to go but I thought I would start posting some of my notes here in case anyone is interested.  The notes were originally written for me as “memory helpers” so they my seem a little scatter-brained or overly summarized…but if you take your time and think about each topic there is a wealth of wisdom in much of what Dr Cloud has to say.  If you would like more meat I would encourage you to purchase his book.

Here are my notes (please reply to this post if you have any questions or comments):

The book describes three basic requirements for success:

1.  Competencies (Tasks)
2.  Alliances (Relationships)
3.  The character to not screw it up

Like a boat, we leave behind a wake:

1. What did we accomplish?
2. How did we deal with people?
Are others water skiing on the great wake we produced for them or have we left them bobbing for air, bleeding, like shark bait?

The book’s definition of character:

Character = the ability to meet the demands of reality

What is Integrity:

The books title is about Integrity.  The author describes how when most people think of Integrity they think only of Honesty…as if Integrity = Honesty.  The author has a broader definition of Integrity.  The word used to (and technically still does) describe the idea of a complete person, a person who is structurally sound, where all aspects of their character are balanced and working together for the best results.

Dictionary Definitions of Integrity:

1.  The quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness “he is known to be a man of integrity”
2. The state of being whole and undivided:”upholding territorial integrity and national sovereignty”
3.  The condition of being unified, unimpaired, or sound in construction.  “the structural integrity of the novel”
4.  Internal consistency or lack of corruption in electronic data

Aspects/Character of people with Integrity:

1.  The ability to connect authentically (which leads to trust)
2.  The ability to be oriented toward the truth (which leads to finding and operating in reality)
3.  The ability to work in a way that gets results and finishes well (which leads to reaching goals, profits, or the mission)
4.  The ability to embrace, engage, and deal with the negative (which leads to ending problems, resolving them, or transforming them)
5.  The ability to be oriented toward growth (which leads to increase)
6.  The ability to be transcendent (which leads to enlargement of the bigger picture and oneself)

The opposite of integrity is compartmentalization

1. People who love without the benefit of judgment and reality testing
2. People who are creative but without the benefit of being structured or organized
3. People who can be proactive and take risks but can’t delay when they need to…impulsive

Strengths turn into weaknesses without the other parts of a person to balance them out.

The exaggerated extreme of compartmentalization is what the word “diabolical” historically means

The gap:

A gap exists between the reality of who we are and the ideal or ultimate reality….that gap is our need and opportunity for growth.

More than caring: Being nice is not enough:

If you gain people’s trust, their hearts, then you also have their desire and passion (53):
Some leaders (and parents) only get compliance…others get autonomous kids who DESIRE to be the best for themselves that they can be.
Some leaders impose their will on others but good leaders capture the other people’s will, their true desire, by connecting with them first.


If you “will” something than it is what you truly want.  Anyone who has ever tried to depend on “willpower” and just trying to make good choices cannot compete with the true desire of the heart, for that is where the passion is.  You will not lose weight, for example, until your deepest desire is to get healthy.  The heart is always stronger than mere “willpower”.

….more to come as I continue through the book….so far I would highly recommend the book to anyone.

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