Letter to the Editor

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By In Weekly Email 2 minute read time

Dear Brother and Sister Editors and Readers of The Open Kimono:

My keen interest in your work is a tribute to the work of Dr. Evan Offstein whose book Stand Your Ground: Building Honorable Leaders the West Point Way has been studied by international audiences of military and business leaders alike.  For that reason, I avidly perused your January 20th efforts in which you informed us you:

 

[C]ame across a study that sought to answer a question—what’s the best way to repair trust in the workplace when it’s been broken?

 

Please let me urge you to encourage readers to continue to live with integrity, and if need be, to restore a reputation for integrity by acting with honor and truthfulness, and being trustworthy and dependable.  Please – politics aside – eschew an ethos to:

 

[F]ollow the lead of Donald Trump and dig in and deny, deny, and deny.

 

The cited article you made available here focuses less on doing what’s right versus doing what is more persuasive from a psychological perspective.  As for defining integrity, an elusive and cherished virtue, we might say that:

 

Acting with honor and truthfulness are basic tenets in a person with integrity.  

and

         People who demonstrate integrity draw others to them because they are            trustworthy and dependable.

 

(See:  http://hesterinc.net/integrity)

 

The “dig in and deny, deny, and deny” approach is – regardless of its proponent – anathema to me as a retired second generation Soldier, with my son being a newly commissioned third generation soldier and West Point graduate.

What other ways do people of integrity distinguish themselves?

Military members for nearly three generations have looked to Brigadier General S.L.A. Marshall’s The Armed Forces Officer, first published in 1950 with a foreword from General of the Army George C. Marshall.  Although the work was written and has been updated with Commissioned Officers in mind, it applies to any leader:

 

“Ultimately, it is faithfulness to self-understanding that is the basis

of an officer’s individual integrity and sense of duty—the determination

to be, in the words of General Douglas MacArthur, “What you

ought to be. What you can be. What you must be.”

 

Very respectfully,

Kevin H. Govern

Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Army Retired

Professor of Law

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