It has always amazed me how large trees can weather the most intense storms. Their root system provides enduring strength, and it helps them stand strong in the best and worst of circumstances. Our core is like the root system of a tree. It enables us to endure the onslaught of daily storms and sustained periods of challenge. Likewise, a strong core also enables us to manage our ego in the midst of sustained success.
A strong core holds us tight. If we are without a defined core, we’re likely holding-on tight to weak substitutes called attachments. These attachments come in many forms. Sometimes they are rules, policies, or traditions. Other times they are titles, positions, or power itself. For some, attachments are cliquish relationships. Attachments are the fertile ground where sacred cows are born. When we cling to attachments, we tend to hold-on to everything. Yet, embracing your core values allows you to give confidently. There is a great difference between the impact of attachments and the impact of living one’s core values; the results couldn’t be further apart.
In your professional journey, what have you found yourself holding-on to that only a strong sense of your core would allow you to release? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.
In my role of coaching executives & others a core factor with me is carefully determining the provability of a successful experience BEFORE accepting the opportunity. If I feel that my expertise is not what will best benefit the client or if I feel he/she is entrenched & unlikely to accept my counsel I walk away … perhaps I can connect the person / team with another consultant who would be a better fit.
I always hung on to my Core Values. I was not going too ride the Coatails of someone who I knew did not have the same values I did. It is mighty easy to do but very sad to see someone become that person. We all know how to define that cliquish person.
In my sales career I saw plenty of people who gave up their personal values to hitch a ride to the next promotion. I believed my work and work ethic would speak for itself. Fortunately it did over the long haul.
The analogy of the large trees, their root systems, intense storms and integrity is an excellent one. I would caution, however, that we have all seen those same large trees on their backs with their roots in the air after a storm. What is the difference? What allows some trees to withstand the storm while others meet their demise? The same questions can be asked of an individual, a company and even a country.
When my son was out of college and just entering the workforce we had a father son talk and it centered on integrity. The synopsis of that talk was this: Every man is born with a tremendous wealth – a wealth so vast that it is extremely hard to comprehend. Depending on how a man treats this gift will determine whether he stands tall in this world or becomes a victim of his own demise. The gift every man is given at birth is integrity. This free gift is given away by some very early in their working lives by many means: lying, covering up, laziness on a project, passing the buck, pointing fingers, etc. and once it is given away a man has squandered a precious gift that he may not be able to recapture. So, if a man does his work with pride and puts his full effort into it then he has no excuses to give. Take responsibility for your actions, own your work and you will not need to make excuses or point fingers and, by doing so, throw away your integrity in the process. Stand tall in your efforts.
As a national sales manager, in both small and large corporations, I have had the opportunity to see the positives of co-workers with their integrity intact and the negatives of those who chose to toss out their integrity for a short term advantage. In the end the trees left standing were not as numerous as those on their sides, but they were healthy and thriving on into retirement. It has been my experience that some who gave their integrity away can be righted by a caring effort while others demand an immediate chain saw.