Picture a boat on a lake gliding along. Behind it is an ever increasing wake, spreading out from side to side. Is the wake smooth or is it choppy and rough? Is there a water skier riding the top of the wake smiling and happy or is it so choppy that he falls into the water. For Dr. Henry Cloud, an author, clinical psychologist and corporate consultant, this “wake” is an example of our lives as we sail through our jobs at work. Do we leave a smooth wake of finished tasks on one side and a wake of good personal relationships on the other or is our path leaving something different… something choppy and rough causing others around us pain and agony.
“Integrity” is Dr. Clouds latest book and it is profound. This is a book that will open your eyes with it’s simple premise and let you dig deep into the real meaning of integrity. The French and Latin meanings of the word hint at its origins, “that the whole thing is working well, undivided, integrated, intact and uncorrupted.” According to Cloud, achieving this “wholeness” requires the development of six character traits…
1. Creates trust
2. Unafraid of reality
4. Solves “negative realities”
5. Causes growth
6. Finds meaning in life
I picked up this book in Audio format and have been listening to it as part of my “MBA on the Run” program. This program is like a bottle of Windex, clearing away the cloudy grime and letting you see clearly what true integrity really is. In Audio format the book runs for five hours and my first listen was over 90 minutes. I started listening on my usual two mile evening walk but found it so compelling that I made three loops.
Dr Cloud uses business experiences of his CEO friends and clients and stories like Proctor and Gamble’s success in China to illustrate each character trait. What each of his stories has in common is how success, often great success across multiple fields, is fueled by openness, honesty to one’s self and to others, and a “true trust,” which is truly borne out of someone’s goodness and not dependent on anything.
The book helps you come to grips with adversity, learn from it and reshape life patterns that will help you succeed. Over the next week we’ll take a look a each one of the six traits and explore how we can build on each one to become more successful in our everyday lives.