22 Feb #161 – “Leading Faithfully” Basics – The 4-Step Journey
ESSENCE: Leading faithfully through business a better way is a journey. Leading an organization in alignment with Biblical beliefs, principles and priorities requires finding the on-ramp, getting on, and then not stumbling off an ancient path of Jeremiah 6:16. We have developed a four-step process called Integriosity® to help a faithful leader navigate the journey toward faithful integrity, each of which lays the groundwork for the next: RENEW, RE-IMAGINE, RE-ALIGN and RESTORE. Each step in the path to Integriosity carries its own excitement and its own challenges. There will be leaders who look down it and rationalize that to “keep on keepin’ on” is good enough–being ethical, “doing good”, “looking good” and “doing well”–“preferring the comfort and security of mediocrity to the challenges of godliness“. (After all, the world–and our culture–makes “keep on keepin’ on” the acceptable path.) But that’s “missing the mark”. Leading faithfully requires much more than having good intentions, being ethical, “doing good”, “looking good” or “doing well”. Leading faithfully in alignment with Biblical beliefs, principles and priorities must start with RENEW.
“Leading Faithfully” Basics is about going back and re-examining the basics of leading faithfully through business a better way–business in alignment with Biblical beliefs, principles and priorities.
We believe leading faithfully requires finding the on-ramp, getting on, and not stumbling off an ancient path referenced in Jeremiah 6:16. It is the path of business a better way. We have developed a four-step process to help a faithful leader navigate the journey toward faithful integrity. We call that process Integriosity®.
The Journey to Leading Faithfully
We break the Integriosity journey into four steps–RENEW, RE-IMAGINE, RE-ALIGN and RESTORE–each of which lays the groundwork for the next. Jumping into RE-IMAGINE or RE-ALIGN before RENEW would be like going out on the field before you learned the rules of the game or the fundamental skills. Jumping into RE-ALIGN before RE-IMAGINE would be starting the game without a game-plan.
• RENEW: This first step is about renewing a faithful leader’s mind about faith/work integration. Renewing a leader’s mind (about things like business as usual vs. business a better way, God’s purpose for work and business and faith as usual Side Roads) builds the foundation for dreaming and planning–Re-Imagining what their organization would look like in alignment with business a better way.
RENEW focuses on a few key Biblical principles that we believe are the “first things” that a faithful leader needs to “keep first”. Central to RENEW are five key “mind-shifts” re-ordering disordered priorities as to the WHAT, WHO, WHY, HOW and WHEN of faith-work integration.
The RENEW step of Integriosity is exciting because it reveals the sacred nature of work and business. It may be the first time a leader comes to understand the intrinsic Kingdom value of their work and the organization they lead. Moving across the three “gaps” (Sunday/Monday, Sacred/Secular, and Knowing/Doing) of faith/work integration equips a leader to see their role, their organization and all its people in a new light. But there are several potential challenges for a leader going through the Renew stage:
• Being willing to lay down old beliefs and doctrines (as comfortable as they may be), including some that may still be taught in their church.
• Being willing to embrace the increased responsibility of being a “steward” of God’s organization.
• RE-IMAGINE: This second step involves a faithful leader taking their Renewed understanding of faith/work integration and beginning to RE-IMAGINE their leadership and organization aligned with Biblical beliefs, principles and priorities. Re-Imagining creates the blueprint for Re-Aligning the purpose, values and culture, step by step.
The RE-IMAGINE step is exciting because a leader has the tools and the permission to imagine WHAT COULD BE! RE-IMAGINE focuses in four areas: Alignment, Purpose, Foundation and Implementation. The principal challenge of the Re-Imagine stage is doing an honest appraisal of WHAT IS:
• Recognizing when a vision statement really doesn’t lay out a vision.
• Recognizing when values do not align with Biblical beliefs, principles and priorities.
• Recognizing where the culture does not align with the vision or values.
• Recognizing where the “real” culture is far from the intended culture.
The product of the RE-IMAGINE step is a Re-Imagined Vision, Re-Imagined Values and Re-Imagined Culture.
• RE-ALIGN: Re-Aligning is when a leader and an organization begin executing their Re-Imagined Vision, Re-Imagined Values and Re-Imagined Culture.
The excitement of the RE-ALIGN step comes in actually beginning to implement change rather than just learning and dreaming–it is fully crossing the Knowing/Doing gap. It is planning and executing change along several Overt-Covert Continuums.
There are five key ingredients for executing Re-Alignment: Flexible Approach, Intentional Leaders, Trust, Prayer and Patience.
The challenge of the RE-ALIGN step is realizing and accepting that Re-Alignment is a SLOW process. A Re-Imagined Vision and Re-Imagined Values can be changed on a website in a matter of minutes; however, buy-in at all levels of an organization can take months (or years) and reinforcement is a never-ending process. A Re-Imagined Culture takes time, and the amount of time depends on how ingrained and toxic the existing culture happens to be.
We turn (once again) to the wisdom of Seth Godin:
A commitment, from the top, that this place is going to be different. The commitment is open-ended. It involves leading and showing up and keeping promises, for months and years into the future. . . . This is going to take a long time.
• RESTORE: Restore is called a “step” in the Integriosity process, but it is really the product of the first three steps–it is the fruit.
The excitement of the RESTORE stage is seeing the fruit of leading faithfully through business a better way. That fruit can be seen in people, in the organization and in work relationships.
If you think of a flower garden, leaders have loosened the ground in order to plant (shared the heart behind proposed changes), planted the seeds (a purpose statement and values), regularly watered and fertilized (reinforcing the purpose and values through statements, education, reminders, reinforcements, rewards to achieve credibility, buy-in and commitment), and weeded the garden (eliminating forces and influences, such as disruptive employees or ineffective managers, that are working against the flowers) before the roots structure of the weeds choked the flowers.
In the RESTORE stage, the three bigger WHY’s of work and business materialize and manifest in the organization:
• People are Humanized
• The World is Beautified
• God is Glorified
One may walk over the highest mountain one step at a time. (John Wanamaker)
Integriosity Steps: The Excitement and the Challenges
As you can see, each step in the path to Integriosity carries its own excitement and its own challenges. We do not pretend it is an easy path, and there will be leaders who look down it and rationalize that to “keep on keepin’ on” is good enough–being ethical, “doing good”, “looking good” and “doing well”. (After all, the world–and our culture–makes “keep on keepin’ on” the acceptable path.) Others will start down the path and be unwilling to face their “misses”, turning back somewhere in RENEW. Those who make it to RE-IMAGINE may not think there is much to change. Finally, some will come to RE-ALIGN and demand a “quick fix” or want to delegate leadership because they don’t see it as worth their time (after all, they need to “run the organization”).
But that’s “missing the mark”. Leading faithfully requires much more than having good intentions, being ethical, “doing good”, “looking good” or “doing well”. A quote from George Barna comes to mind:
A large share of the people who figure out what’s coming as they pursue holiness choose to retreat to previously mastered stops on the trail, preferring the comfort and security of mediocrity to the challenges of godliness.
Business as usual is not in alignment with God’s WHY for work and organizations or with the Kingdom of God. We believe it is time to begin executing business a better way in alignment with Biblical beliefs, principles and priorities–it is time to begin leading faithfully through Integriosity®. It starts with the first step–RENEW. In the words of John Wanamaker:
One may walk over the highest mountain one step at a time.
PERSONAL NOTE (from PM): People sometimes ask how to pronounce Integriosity. Here it is:
Copyright © 2023 Integrous LLC. Integriosity is a registered Service Mark of Integrous LLC.
Photo Credit: Original photo by Porapak Apichodilok on Pexels (photo cropped)