It was a tense scene in the courtroom of A Few Good Men. Tom Cruise was verbally unleashing on Jack Nicholson. And then came Nicholson’s famous line from the movie – “You can’t handle the truth.” There is no doubt that truth can be hard. Inconvenient. Eye-opening. And life transforming … individually and collectively.
It sometimes seems that truth can be very evasive. Yet, that’s an illusion. This illusion is a reflection of our own evasiveness from truth. Truth — is truth. Sometimes we spin truth to align with our own opinions, beliefs, wants and needs. Rarely is that done intentionally or even consciously. Yet, it is more likely when we are not grounded-in the one essential thing:
Integrity is our alignment to truth – our expression of it. Integrity is not about compliance or control. Compliance and control are made necessary because of our lack of grounding in integrity. This is true in the cultures of organizations as well as our own personal behaviors.
As my work has continued to dive ever-deeper into exploring integrity, I have been lovingly taught that truth is found when we take a stance of least resistance. As you explore integrity in a stance of least resistance … you don’t find it. It finds you.
Six years ago, on a cool spring day, I sat on a cold stone bench in the beautiful Spruce Plot of the Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Illinois. For me, it was a defining moment. I had one thing in mind as I looked down at the blank pad of paper tucked in the portfolio sitting on my lap — the need to redefine what first came to mind for a leader at the top of any organization when they thought of ROI.
This redefinition did seem a little daunting. Possibly even unrealistic in today’s world. After all, creating a return on investment is a noble cause rightfully seen as an expression of accountability and a sense of stewardship. Yet, I also realized in a world embracing accelerating speed – moving past the concept of change into an era of continual disruption – that a relentless focus on this ROI of return on investment was also fraught with potential fractures. Disconnects. And sometimes untruth. There was a more important ROI – not just another thing, but rather the essence of everything:
Return On Integrity.
I also knew that in the marketplace it had to begin with the leader at the very top. Four years later Return On Integrity: The New Definition of ROI and Why Leaders Need to Know It was published. It was specifically written for the top leader to address their own personal journey with realistic insights into this journey’s rough terrain. It was then a direct call to lead others on that same journey with the organizational development roadmap to scale it across their organization.
While the importance of the top leader’s role in owning and leading a return on integrity in their organization remains clear to me, it has also become clear that they are no more important on this journey than every other member in the organization.
Every. Single. Individual.
In May of this year, I returned to that same stone bench in the Spruce Plot — this time focused solely on the individual. Every individual. And their own personal journey to the one essential thing.
This New Year’s Day we unleash the opportunity for every individual to begin their own journey to a deeper richer sense of integrity with Return On Integrity: The Individual’s Journey to the One Essential Thing.
Over the last few years, I have also lovingly been taught that we are all ONE. It is precisely what integrity is all about. Integrated. And it is precisely why individuals matter. It is true in any organization and in the life of each individual. Integrity is about each one – and then everyone. It is not easy. It just happens to be wonderful – and essential. It is a truth we can handle.
CLICK HERE to view a 2-minute trailer for this new release. Pre-orders are now available on Amazon. Shipments begin New Year’s Day!