Reaction Paper 1- Integrity by Henry Cloud
Niki Varveris, DPT
GEB 6445- Business, Ethics and Society
January 17, 2013
The book Integrity, written by Henry Cloud, while proving to be more than your typical “self-help” book as I prematurely assumed, shed a whole new light on the subject of integrity. I must admit that prior to reading this book I was confident in my understanding of the word “integrity”, doing the right thing when no one is watching. And I was most certainly self-assured that I am a person of integrity. This book, ...view middle of the document...
Another important part of this book for me was learning a practical, applicable meaning for the word "character". Prior to reading this book I was a firm believer in the fact that a persons character is fixed and cannot change. We all talk about having "character" and have heard the expression "character counts". Yet I would bet that most people, myself included, don't have a solid definition to apply to the term. Dr. Cloud defines it as "the ability to meet the demands of reality". Adding the notion that the demands of reality determine the requirements of the design, as Cloud explains, it is easy to see how character plays a significant role in success and failure. Furthermore, Cloud presents a solid argument as to his belief that character is changeable.
What a novel idea! Not only is the composition of my character key to meeting the demands of my reality, I have the choice of developing my character based on what task I am faced with. This is a valuable lesson for me. Suddenly it is clear why I have difficulty juggling the demands of running a private practice, meeting the needs of my teenage daughters, fulfilling the requirements of school, maintaining my physical well-being, and nourishing a relationship with my partner. All these years I have solely relied on one aspect of my character, my drive to get results, and have failed to recognize the other components of my character. The message that resonates with me is that in order to succeed equally in various portions of my reality I must do a better job of strengthening other facets of my character.
Dr. Cloud’s story of Brad, the CEO and his VP struck a cord with me. What was of great value to me was the idea of looking at what things cost or profit in more than just monetary terms. I have an employee that is hard working and efficient in every respect of the word. From a strictly monetary point of view this person is well worth their salary. However, they are often negative, argumentative and reluctant to help in areas outside of their designated role. This creates stress and discomfort for the entire office which could be much more costly in the long run in terms of morale, teamwork and customer relations. I now have a better understanding of the "cost" of this employee and hopefully will be able to address this particular situation in a more effective manner.
When it comes to building trust with others to achieve a goal, I completely agree with Cloud in that there is a difference between getting people to comply and winning their hearts. I would like to think that working at my company is the best job anyone could have. However, the more I thought about this topic, I realized that I am more effective at winning my patients hearts than I am at winning my employees hearts. A deeper analysis of this matter revealed that I tend to be more empathetic with my patients whereas I expect my employee to follow my work ethics and work as hard as I do. This is...