The Cost of Integrity

Several years ago, while discussing integrity and leadership with a client group in Seoul, Korea, a participant fluent in Mandarin asked if he could step to the flipchart and draw a Mandarin character. He drew the character for integrity which consists, he explained, of three parts: ten eyes, one heart, and a moving target.
We live and work these days in a land of moving targets. A person of integrity dare not be static or stuck in one place. Multiple perspectives, including that which has not even been imagined, are required – at least “ten eyes”. The virtue of integrity is not a matter of truthfulness but rather openness – openness to all that is yet to be discovered. I need to pause and ask myself, “Do I really believe that?” I do believe it, but sometimes I am incredibly impatient with my own orthodoxies and well-established assumptions.
Scientists have historically been among the greatest “heretics”. That makes advancing in the performance rankings really tough! The courage to be open and to be different often comes with a cost.
The heart is the source of courage. As leaders it is essential that we stay close to our hearts. How scientific is that?