What I’m Grateful For: Integrity, or My Own Lack Thereof (part 3 of 2, yes I know….)
Out of integrity: me.
In the course of a rough few weeks, I was informed by a good, honest friend of mine that I was out of integrity with my team and myself.
One of my longtime clients and a good friend of mine had asked for an upgrade for a new website. Without going into it, the long and short of it is that the journey was rocky and the client felt upset and poorly attended to. And it was my fault.
I didn’t communicate enough, I didn’t send timely progress reports. I assumed that things were taken care of and did not circle back to make sure my assumptions were correct. I dropped the ball and messed up. And I tried to find ways to make it not about me.
My good friend confronted me about not owning these as my own actions, and he was right. I was out of integrity with my team, my client and myself.
It is very human to try to look around and blame others for the situations that we find ourselves in. It is incredibly tempting to explain, rationalize, excuse and exempt ourselves from what is ultimately staring right back at us in the mirror: our own self, flawed.
So this week, I am grateful that I have such a good friend, who is fearless to tell me, as many times as necessary, how badly I’ve messed up, and how it is my responsibility to shoulder when a project goes wrong.
And to my team, I am sorry: It was me and my fault, all along.
What I’m Reading: My business partner, Nick, suggested this gem to me: The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups, by Daniel Coyle. Fascinating read on what really makes groups successful – I’m in the first few chapters now, but really enjoying it so far. My favorite anecdote in the first few pages was about this research where they sent a single individual into group meetings to try to wreck things. He played (quite well it seemed) the roles of Jerk, Slacker and Downer. And results showed, he nearly always could derail an entire group with his various forms of negativity. And fundamentally, it appeared that he did so by making the group around him feel …. unsafe! More on this next week……
What I’m Pondering: “Leaders should never be satisfied. They must always strive to improve, and they must build that mind-set into the team. They must face the facts through a realistic, brutally honest assessment of themselves and their team’s performance. Identifying weaknesses, good leaders seek to strengthen them and come up with a plan to overcome challenges. The best teams anywhere, like the SEAL Teams, are constantly looking to improve, add capability, and push the standards higher. It starts with the individual and spreads to each of the team members until this becomes the culture, the new standard. The recognition that there are no bad teams, only bad leaders facilitates Extreme Ownership and enables leaders to build high-performance teams that dominate on any battlefield, literal or figurative.” ― Jocko Willink,