Finding Integrity In Leadership

Integrity: n. 1. Steadfast adherence to a strict moral or ethical code. 2. The state of being unimpaired; soundness. 3. The quality or condition of being whole or undivided; completeness.

After a week of watching a poor leadership example unfold in the news, it is a privilege to know leaders with integrity.  My interviews with Vicki Carlson for A Four-Star Family led to an interview with her husband, retiring United States Air Force General Bruce Carlson.

The LDS Church News published my article, Military Man Keeps the Faith, on Dec 13.

As you may guess, only one-tenth of the information I gleaned from that interview eventually made it to print. In the interview, Gen. Carlson gave an analogy about integrity that was not published, but worth considering. He said,

Integrity’s like a ball bearing. If you look at it, it looks perfect, but if it has one flaw in it and it gets under heat and pressure, what happens?  It comes apart. And when it comes apart under heat and pressure it doesn’t just fall apart and walk away. It usually damages other things, because under heat and pressure there are a lot of other parts. When integrity fails, it doesn’t just damage that person, it usually damages a lot of people around.


  1. Natasha Call
    Dec 15, 2008

    I appreciate this post because I am running for Mayor in Saratoga Springs, Utah because I see the same issue with leadership and integrity. I look forward to additional informational posts! I have placed you in my fav’d links on my site at Thanks for the great post!

  2. An Ordinary Mom
    Jan 5, 2009

    Would a great analogy. I am glad you wrote about it.

  3. Michelle at Scribbit
    Jan 7, 2009

    Thanks for sending the link–you sure did a good job with this.

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