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Thought Leaders Unpacked -> Integrity #7: In Touch With Reality

thought-leaders“Reality is always your friend,” asserts Henry Cloud in this week’s chapter.

Reality can feel like an enemy intruder, though, when it is difficult. Complicated. Painful. Embarrassing. When it means facing up to a mistake, starting over, making amends, reversing direction, etc.

Somewhere in all that mess—but not uncommon to such messes—some of us come to believe, maybe come to hope, that all those consequences can be avoided if only the truth didn’t come out.

Integrity, by Henry CloudThe challenge in this chapter comes from Cloud’s conviction that it’s the leaders who face reality (whatever its implications) rather than those who finesse reality who are most effective in the long run. We aren’t necessarily bad people for playing light and fast with the truth. But we are going to find that our efforts are not addressing that which is core to what is actually happening on the ground. We may feel less stress, fear or frustration, but we won’t be moving to a sounder, safer, more smooth functioning place.

My second take-away from this chapter has to do with avoiding blind spots. Or, more to the point, becoming the type of person who doesn’t easily develop blind spots. I don’t know about you, but this is a super attractive image to me.

There is a certain courage involved in being willing to see that which is difficult. There is a certain centeredness about one’s own well-being that isn’t threatened by information that could be painful. It’s a health that is attractive to me, a strength that draws, a peace which is inviting.

I guess that makes the question of the hour for me, can I face honestly how far away from this aspect of leadership health I currently stand?

Where do you find yourself finessing reality instead of facing it squarely?

Each Friday I post my reflections from one chapter of Integrity: The Courage to Meet the Demands of Reality by Henry Cloud. If you are just joining the discussion now, welcome! Catch up on the entire series here.

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