In 1992 Acura released the Integra. I remember because a few years later my younger sister was driving one.
It’s a funny word, Integra. In fact it’s not a word at all — at least not a real word that can be found in the dictionary. It’s one of those names car companies make up — like Impreza, or Elantra. It sounds nice.
But the root of this one does hold something powerful. It can be found in words like integrate, and integrity.
Sometimes you might feel like you’re one person at work and another at home. One way with certain people — like colleagues or college friends — but different with others. One way with certain clients or customers and another way with others.
And maybe you feel scattered sometimes, like too many things are clamoring for your attention.
The more things we have going — the more tasks, roles, personas, and moving parts, the more there is to manage. And as we all know, that can get exhausting.
So one place to look is Integrity. Typically, when we use the word “Integrity,” there tends to have some flavor of judgment in it. “I trust her, she has integrity,” or, “I wouldn’t work with him, he has no integrity.”
For the purposes of this morning, let’s remove the judgment. Let’s relate to integrity in a more flat and practical way. Think of the hull of a ship. If it has integrity, it holds the interior space intact and keeps the water out so the ship can sail smoothly. If there are gaps in the hull, or a breakdown in its integrity, water is let in and the ship slows down and might eventually sink.
Ultimately integrity is a matter of alignment.
When our thoughts, words, and actions are aligned we can better sail through life’s waters. When there are gaps, that creates drag and we slow down or even stop. Or we keep going but need to burn a greater amount of resources to sustain the motion.
All humans want things. And if you’re here in Elevate, one of those things is more closed business. The question is are our actions aligned in a way that will lead us to them?
And this goes for “being” as well as “doing.” Look at the word “integer.” Same root. In math, an integer is a whole number. Like 1 or 11, or 2,163. It’s not a fraction or a percentage, or a piece — it’s whole. Think about what it’s like when you feel whole. Maybe you’ve just rested or just eaten, or your house has just been cleaned and everything is in it’s place. Or you’re in the company of good friends, or maybe even just sitting quietly by yourself. Integrity with being is access to not only power but also ease, and peace. It’s access to our full selves. Our innate gifts, talents, and brilliance.
To be clear, it’s not that we should be exactly the same everywhere at all times. But whenever you notice that you feel depleted, take a look at where you can integrate your life, and create more wholeness.
And regarding action, same thing. For example, if someone has been trying to schedule a meeting with you but you’ve been particularly busy, have them meet you here in this Zoom meeting. You can integrate your business meeting with the Elevate meeting in order to create efficiency, added value (for both of you), and ultimately an even better meeting. It’s powerful for you because it’s a better use of your time, and it’s powerful for them because they get access to this amazing group of leaders.
Where else can you create integration?
How about your marketing and messaging… make sure that you are presenting yourself and your business in “packaging,” that would appeal to your ideal clients and customers. How you dress, what you say… are you using the language of the industry in which they operate?
And lastly, we can all practice integration by simply being more authentic. When you are just being you, it requires less energy. That’s a very different vibe than being, “on,” all the time.
It may be a new practice for some, or if you’ve been at it a while, consider what the next level of it is for you. Ultimately it’s going to foster greater connection, and get you hired.
Part of what makes this chapter special is that it’s filled with authentic people trying to grow and integrate our businesses.
So let’s keep it going — working together toward a common goal.
Here’s to Elevate as one integrated team!