Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Closing The Gap

Among the many words used to criticise the "church" is hypocrisy, which would probably appear more often than not at the top of the list.  While this may be an overstated generalisation of the church in many cases, it does highlight an unavoidable characteristic of human behaviour that inevitably presents itself by people who profess a certain set of values (religious or otherwise) and behave in a different manner.  

This gap between stated values and actual behaviour is costly for personal integrity and professional credibility, a point well captured by Dr. Brene Brown during her presentation at the Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit:

"The space between how we behave and our aspirational values is where we lose people."

Regardless of the context, people tend to be attracted to people who spend the least amount of time in this gap, and tend to abandon people who loiter there too long.  The same is true for organisations...including churches!

To be people or organisations with integrity and credibility we must close the gap between stated values and actual behaviour so that who we say we are is consistent with what others see.  Closing this gap between values and behaviour builds trust and establishes the foundation for sustaining strong and lasting personal and professional relationships.

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