Honor in Development

Feel free to read the title in all its variations in meaning.

  • There is honor in development.
  • One can be in development regarding honor.
  • One can have honor with respect to development.

I recommend all three.

Here is what I have come to know from engaging in honorable development with many thousands of people over roughly 40 years: everyday culture and organizational culture undervalue honor, undervalue development, and undervalue honor in development. And they deserve what they get for doing so — having to live and work with people hypnotized by actions in behalf of near-term results while failing at long-term development of their most important and satisfying strengths.

Watch TV and see how much cheating, lying, deception and manipulation are lauded. (Especially if you can do it with a snappy quip while winning through manipulation.) However, what follows on TV is a commercial and a week-long break instead of the actual fruits of cheating, lying, deception and manipulation. While it may look like everyday criminality pays, it also costs. And the costs are extreme.

Mostly it costs honor, a deep sense of respect for the gifts one has been given, a clear sense of oneself that is an honest appraisal. It also costs the ability to see clearly all that is involved in human relations given that the “cover story” one is telling oneself while cheating distorts one’s seeing. These are big costs. Bigger yet is the cost to honor in development (all three ways).

In my earliest offering of the Contegrity Approach to the public in 1992, I said that if you had to manage your life (or your organization) off only one flight dial (only one measure and its feedback regarding interventions), I would recommend that you attend to the appropriate, sustainable level of ongoing development. Take care of that and the rest of what is important follows.

This approach presumes honor in development:

  • listening for what life is calling for from you,
  • listening for what you have to provide and providing it at a gradient beyond what you already have, but not so far beyond that you cannot take it seriously,
  • developing honor with yourself, others, life and what fulfills life.

Steering by this, there will be a steady yet remarkable increase in fit with life, increase in one’s power to have life turn out well, and increase in the sense of freedom to engage with what is before you.

Like the “miracle of compound interest,” steady development as a central discipline provides increasing honesty, communication and accomplishment. Depth of relations builds. Competence turns to power. Confusion turns to clarity about what is calling to be fulfilled.

Take heed of development. Take heed of honor. Take heed of where the two meet.

Those people who do, and those organizations who do, will thrive. Those who don’t will be left embedded in a culture of manipulation and cheating, with all their concomitant costs. Getting out of that rut will be difficult given its usual cover story —  that they aren’t living that way or that it is perfectly justified to be doing so.

Those embedded in a culture of manipulation and cheating deserve our compassion. They also deserve the chance to be awakened to the cost of ignoring honor and development so that they can either suffer by choice or develop by intent.

About Ken Anbender

Kenneth Anbender Ph.D. has spent the last 50 years working with more than a hundred thousand people directly on the principles and methods that support the fulfillment of a human life -- in community and at work. He has developed a body of work that is licensable called The Contegrity Approach.
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2 Responses to Honor in Development

  1. Tony Putman says:

    “… attend to the appropriate, sustainable level of ongoing development. Take care of that and the rest of what is important follows.” Terrific.

  2. A friend forwarded this to me. I suspects he understands the struggle I/we are dealing with in the development of a framework that has been both a boon and a bane for us. I appreciate your words very much and will continue to ponder and move forward.

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