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Lead with Integrity: The Wake (Oct. 2016)

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Ethics Matters

October 2016

In Dr. Henry Cloud’s book, Integrity…The Courage to Meet the Demands of Reality, he uses the wake left behind a boat as it glides through water as an analogy for how leaders in an organization leave wakes. The wake of a boat is affected by both the performance and path of the boat. The patterns of the wake can be consistent and perfectly aligned, or it can be inconsistent and rough, depending on the speed and direction. Similarly, a leader leaves a wake that results from his or her performance, with the patterns of the wake, defined by Dr. Cloud, as: 1) the Task Side, and 2) the Relationship Side.

The quality and quantity of tasks being completed from the leader affects one dimension of the leader’s wake, while the leader’s interaction and engagement with individuals when completing tasks form the other side. The best leaders have impressive, consistent wakes that show high performance, abundant with accomplishments (large and small), and relationships that show admiration and respect for the leaders.

Leaders with integrity, focus on successfully completing tasks. In the process of completing those tasks, true leaders establish and/or maintain mutually beneficial relationships with other stakeholders. Hence, why such leaders leave a beautiful wake behind them that other leaders recognize and appreciate.

How does your wake look? Do you complete tasks that result in the closure of relationships, or do you succeed while building great relationships with people along the way? Creating a beautiful wake behind you is a great way to Lead with Integrity.

— As Always, Lead With Integrity!

Alfonzo Alexander
President, CPT

> Read Full October 2016 Ethics Matters