Transformative Leaders Engage with Integrity.

9 Tips for Leading In Alignment (And With Your S.P.A.R.K.)

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Integrity is one of my most core values. I think of it as being in highest alignment, because it would be the manifestation of me actualizing my values. Living and breathing what I stand for. Not swaying or distracting myself with the noise, but listening to my intuition and letting my moral compass guide me.

Everyday I aspire to lead with integrity. Everyday I fumble and fail, but everyday I have to look myself in the mirror and ask myself–Did you do the right thing? Did live by your code of conduct? Did you show up authentically with love?

After working 10+ years in education and launching my own business, I have learned that integrity is everything. The kids were my first teachers in my very first classroom. They taught me one of the most powerful lessons–that we must walk our talk in order to earn respect and trust.

It sounds simple but it’s quite complex.

Especially when working across cultural, racial, generational, and identity difference, I’ve learned how important it is to show up with authenticity, with consistency, and to follow through on what I said I’d do.

Even if I don’t execute the plan perfectly, or if I haven’t even begun the task yet–communicating where I am at is critical. 

A common misconception I see in my leadership coaching practice is folks waiting or putting off communication because they weren’t done with their plans yet.

What I continue to remind folks is this: Doing something small is better than doing nothing at all. I encourage you to put your values before your plans, even in small ways.

Imagine what you’d prefer if you put yourself in the shoes of the person whom you need to communicate with. Wouldn’t you agree that people who communicate their values explicitly and let them guide their actions get your respect?  

The truth is, I’m a recovering perfectionist. I will constantly be working on things being “good enough”…and I am a work-in-progress on everything I share.

What I definitely know is this: there’s enough pain, guilt, shame, and critiques in the world, and it’s not helpful for me to add more of that onto myself.

So, the courageous act is slowing down. The courageous act is checking in with myself before making a decision to either avoid something or put something off.

The courageous act is listening–with my heart.

And then choosing the path that leads in alignment with that beat.

I’ll always be a work-in-progress, but I believe the path of integrity looks a little something like this in practice.


Indivisible values leading the way

No matter what, we follow through

Truth always being told

Everyday, in every way, we show up authentically

Guilt-free existence

Reliability manifested

Inner and outer congruence

Talking and walking in sync

You-Nified force (with a focus on empathy and unity)

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Now, reflect for a minute…

Which letter is a strength for YOU?

Which is an area to grow?

Being a visionary, adaptive leader during these times is not for the faint of heart.

There’s no silver-bullet for lasting transformation.

If you’re curious to learn more about my leadership framework, S.P.A.R.K. Leadership development experiences involve:

  • Acknowledging and accepting unproductive mindsets and old patterns of behavior, raising awareness of blind-spots and biases that impact one’s leadership
  • Interrupting those patterns by setting intentions and taking small steps to shift habits
  • Embracing the unique strengths and assets that each leader has, which in turn helps them lead authentically with intentionality, conviction, and confidence.
  • Increasing comfort navigating the transitions, tensions, and complexities of their organization.

And, tremendous results and experiences are on the other side of each development opportunity.

So, what’s your learning edge? How would you describe your Leadership S.P.A.R.K.?

I’d love to hear from you. Comment below and share what resonated the most.

Curious to learn more?

S.P.A.R.K. was founded in 2016 by Rachel Rosen, a seasoned facilitator, racial equity leadership coach, and LGBTQ advocate. S.P.A.R.K. offerings sit at the nexus of Rachel’s personal and professional passions, and she is on a mission to bring more empathy to the world, one conversation at a time. With a Masters from Stanford, and extensive training in leadership, coaching, team and organizational development, S.P.A.R.K. experiences are grounded in theory and practice. S.P.A.R.K. offers experiences that support leaders and teams to unleash their potential to facilitate powerful experiences, collaborate, and build trust.

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