Family Friendly


Photo by Kat Grigg 


“Family Friendly”


Not too long ago I was at a client’s office. We were having a team meeting and discussing some of the challenges all of us have faced lately. This unprecedented, uncertain time of COVID-19 has seemed to throw everyone for a bit of a loop. Having said that, there are some good things happening. Here’s one: a team member commented how the client had always talked about putting family first. She said something to the effect of


I appreciate how you’ve always allowed us to make our families a priority.


I said PUSH PAUSE! There are companies who pay one hundred thousand dollars (or more) to someone to help them with their brand. They come up with a logo and a slogan to put on a sign. I continued, saying,


I would much rather have the statement you just made than

words on a sign…


How about you?


Do your words match your actions,

your behavior, your culture?


In other words, what are our core values? What do you (I) really value? Patrick Lencioni has something he calls The Six Critical Questions. Question Two is:


How do we behave?


If we ask that question, we will uncover our core values. Core values are what we do (how we BEHAVE) rather than what we say. So often, we (I include myself in this) ASPIRE to values that we put on a wall or on a business card – or even on a sign. When we don’t live them out – when we don’t BEHAVE according to the wall, card or sign, our core values don’t truly align with these aspirational values. And what then are the consequences? Our team is de-motivated because we don’t mean (or do) what we say. Trust is eroded. Good people leave. I could go on and on.


We often say that it’s better to NOT put statements “out there” than to put them out there and then not live accordingly…


If I were to look in the mirror

 (and maybe I need someone else

 to hold up the mirror)

 how would I measure up?


Stepping back, can I honestly evaluate and maybe then take a small step so that one day, someone in my neighborhood, company or family will say something like my client’s employee? Might that put me on a better path – a path of INTEGRITY – where I do what I say and say what I do? Where my actions match my words? Where people can COUNT on me? Integrity has the same root as integer or integrated. Those words carry the meaning of WHOLE. So, when we speak of a life of integrity, might we be speaking about a whole or a full life. Isn’t that the life I want? How about you?




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