For the past few months in my Outlook articles I’ve been focusing on the concept of building a personal foundation. In July, I listed the ten parts of the personal foundation with the belief that once a manager has addressed these ten issues, he or she is really setting themselves up for long term success as their career develops. In the last issue we talked about clearing unresolved matters. This month our focus is on restoring integrity. To be our best we must be able to do what we say we’re going to do and be who we were meant to be. Restoring integrity for some may be mean speaking truth and for others it may mean doing the thing they are meant to do.
I think when most of us talk or think about integrity we are really talking about honesty or living to a certain standard of ethics. In my coaching sessions with people I spend a lot of time helping them to understand the importance of being people of their word. There is a challenge for many in club management who have grown up in a “the answer is always yes” environment to default to yes in order to be seen as someone with a service mentality. For many of us this can create a trap. As we are looking at a person who is making a request of us and saying, “Yes”, in the back of our minds we may be doubting whether we’ll have the time or the resources to do it. Although the “Yes we can!” attitude opens up the creativity to get the job done, when we fall short of delivering it brings our integrity into question.
A great club manager wants to be known as someone who delivers and yet we sometimes set ourselves up to over promise and under deliver. In contrast, when we under promise and over deliver we get known as someone who doesn’t let people down, and more importantly, when our subconscious mind believes that this is the way we are then it supports us in our efforts to be in integrity. Yes, our words are important and if we become known for being sarcastic, or a gossip, a complainer or a victim we are probably giving an impression that is quite opposite from who we really are or who we know we can be.
In the area where I live there are some TV commercials for a glass company that says that when you get a stone chip in your windshield it affects the integrity of the windshield. In this case integrity doesn’t refer to telling the truth but rather to the ability for an object to do the job it was meant to do. In the case of a windshield it is meant to protect us from the elements as we speed down the road. But as it is weakened by only one stone chip its ability to do so may be compromised.
For you as a manager this begs the questions, “Who are you meant to be?” and “What are you meant to do?” When we understand the answers to these questions then we can start to begin to see if we are in or out of integrity. One of the challenges that managers have is that from time to time others may have a different belief of what we are meant to be. In my role as a coach I hear from club managers who may be gregarious people but who have a director who feels they need to be more ‘back of house’ oriented. Or that one who is strong in administration should be more gifted at food and beverage. Many managers find themselves trying to be what one or two members think they should be. I’m not saying it’s not important to develop various skill sets but when we spend a lot of time trying to be what we’re not we’re really out of integrity. I have told some of my coaching clients that part of my job is to help them get back to who they are. And for someone who feels like they have just been beaten up by a board it seems to make a lot of sense. They often report that for the last number of months they were busy trying to keep their job rather than doing their job. A job they had done well when they ware allowed to be who they are.
In coaching we view the word ‘should’ as a bad word, because it implies that we are getting our prompts about who we are and how our life is going to be from external sources. Be careful about letting other people ‘should’ on you because they may not be concerned about your integrity.
I challenge you to make a list of ways you are currently not in integrity. Make a commitment to start living in integrity as you see it. Try letting go of some of the ‘shoulds’ that have shaped your behavior and replace them with decisions about how you choose to behave. When my clients find themselves back in integrity they experience fewer problems, they have more consistent feelings of peace and well-being and they react to others less often, if ever. They gain energy, and find achieving the results they want more effortless. They also attract people into their lives who are reliable, empowering and inspirational.
If any of these issues have struck home for you, know that you can contact me for some support as a benefit of your CMAA membership.
Restoring integrity is a process which adds richness and joy to your life!
Kevin MacDonald is the Coach for the CMAA. Sign up for Kevin’s monthly Club Managers’ Coaching newsletter at: