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5 Signs You Lack Integrity

Integrity is something we all desire, but how do you know if you have it? And what exactly is it anyway?

Sometimes it’s easiest to think about something out of its immediate context. When something is well built, we say it has structural integrity.

So in an earthquake, the building with excellent structural integrity survives. When something physically collapses, we say it didn’t have the integrity to withstand the impact.

All of this springs from the original latin root of integrity, which means “intact.” Can you withstand the crisis intact?

Many people aren’t withstanding crises well these days. The storm buffets and they collapse along with their family or their organization.

The tension is that no one sees the problem until the storm hits.

“Normal” doesn’t really test your integrity. Crises do.

But when a crisis comes, it’s often too late to fix what’s wrong. The damage is happening in real time.

While there are many things that compromise our integrity, here are five signs that show your integrity is in question:

1. It’s all about you.

You can say it’s about God. You can say it’s about others. But only you and God know your heart.

Selfish people harm their organizations, families and friends. If it’s all about you, you won’t go the distance. Or you will, but you’ll hurt a lot of people in the process and you’ll never know what could have happened if you made it about God and others.

2. Your self-esteem rises and falls with the opinion of others.

A secure leader can see the right way and lead people there through tough conditions. An insecure leader will bend with every change in public opinion. Which means you’re not actually leading anyone, not even yourself.

3. You’re hiding things.

You shouldn’t be telling everyone everything (that’s not healthy) — but someone needs to know everything.

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Speaker and podcaster Carey Nieuwhof is a former lawyer and founding pastor of Connexus Church, one of the largest and most influential churches in Canada. With over 6 million downloads, The Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast features today's top leaders and cultural influencers. His most recent book is “Didn’t See It Coming: Overcoming the 7 Greatest Challenges That No One Expects and Everyone Experiences.” Carey and his wife, Toni, reside near Barrie, Ontario and have two children.