The Essence of Integrity – Lesson from the Centurion

The essence of integrity is “being who you represent yourself to be.” In the conclusion of the presentation on Character-based Law Enforcement from the 2005 International Association of Character Cities Conference, I use the lesson of the Centurion from Capernaum (Matthew chapter 8) to illustrate the power of being a man (or woman) of integrity who is not only in authority, but is under authority. Many of you have heard it before, but the lesson is so central to understanding the message of Police Dynamics that it bears repeating again.

Police officers are the centurions of today. Those who enforce the law must also obey the law. Those who are in authority must also be under authority.

Character Quality of the Month – Humility

Humility vs. Arrogance
Acknowledging that achievement results from the investment of others in my life

The older I get the more I realize I am mostly the product of what God has placed in me and what others have invested in my life. I am grateful to those whose character has left a lasting impression on me…

Download the full list of the 49 character qualities and their definitions from the Character Training Institute.

The theory of limited government …

The theory of limited government contends that all power exercised by the government is derived from the people. The people delegate to government those powers that they would otherwise exercise individually to protect their lives, liberties, and properties. The “limit” on government is what is delegated. Whatever power the people have delegated, the government can legitimately exercise. It may not exercise powers not delegated. In this way, no citizen is subject to power that he has not (in theory) consented to. While written constitutions and representative elections are never unanimous, the will of the majority of the people substitutes for unanimous consent.

Thomas Mullen

From the article:  But Don’t Libyans Have a Right to Freedom Too? 

Although I haven’t read it, you may also want to check out his book, A Return to Common Sense: Reawakening Liberty in the Inhabitants of America.

“The foundations of our national policy will be laid in the pure and immutable principles of private morality…

“The foundations of our national policy will be laid in the pure and immutable principles of private morality, and the preeminence of free government be exemplified by all the attributes which can win the affections of its citizens, and command the respect of the world.”

–George Washington, First Inaugural Address, 1789

Tracing the Path of Destruction

Here is a video clip from a presentation entitled Character-based Law Enforcement that I presented at the 2005 International Association of Character Cities Conference. In it, I trace part of the Path of Destruction that Renegade Police Officers often find themselves on. Starting with the power of the tongue and the impact of our words, we explore other predictable patterns of behavior such as immorality, divorce, domestic violence, and death by suicide as it relates to the profession of law enforcement..

The High Calling of Servant Leadership

Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.
–      Albert Einstein

A story is told that during the American Revolution a man in civilian clothes rode past a group of soldiers repairing a small defensive barrier. Their leader was shouting instructions, but making no attempt to help them.

Asked by the rider, he responded with great dignity, “Sir, I am a corporal!” The stranger apologized, dismounted, and proceeded to help the exhausted soldiers. The job done, he turned to the corporal and said, “Mr. Corporal, next time you have a job like this and not enough men to do it, go to your commander-in-chief and I will come and help you again.” The man was none other than George Washington.

Harold S. Geneen said, “Leadership is practiced not so much in words as in attitudes and actions.” And this is the essence of servant leadership. When talk becomes action; when ones purpose as a leader transcends position, and serving others is the norm rather than the exception, that is when leadership is truly understood.

Former President George H. W. Bush was recently asked in a Time magazine interview as to whether he has seen a shift in the past twenty years in the public’s attitude toward service. He replied, “I think so. I hope so. Many schools include a service project as part of their curriculum, and many corporations have in-house projects for their employees or give them time off to do volunteer work. There’s a greater understanding about the importance of giving back.” This is encouraging when you consider how great the need is for servant leaders today.

Creating a culture of servant leadership in business is needed today. Here I offer three simple concepts towards that end and how service can elevate your organization to a higher level.

Service is a model of leadership. The simplest definition of leadership comes from John Maxwell who defines it in one word– influence. A servant leader is one understands that his influence individually can make a difference, but collectively can make a huge impact.

As a leader, when you rally your people, time, and resources around causes greater than yourself, you are modeling the greatest use of leadership. James Freeman Clarke said, “Strong convictions precede great actions.” What great causes are you and your organization rallying around?

Service is the blessing of leadership. Gandhi said, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” The blessing of leadership is found in the meaningful ways you find to enrich the loves of others. It is not always about finding ways to help others who can’t help themselves, although you should. It is also about connecting with those around you to add value in tangible ways.

When was the last time you praised a co-worker for a job well done? How about sending a personal note of encouragement to a colleague going through a slump? When the idea of being a blessing becomes your corporate culture you will move your business into a whole new realm of purpose.

Service is the reward of leadership. Do you want to position your team for greatness? As you set the example of servant leadership within your organization, there will be a buy-in among your team that will have significant meaning.

Jim Rohn said, “Whoever renders service to many puts himself in line for greatness – great wealth, great return, great satisfaction, great reputation, and great joy.”  When you become a catalyst for servant leadership it will open doors you never imagined.

Where will you serve today?

© 2011 Doug Dickerson

Doug Dickerson is an award winning columnist and leadership speaker. He is the author of the new book, Leaders Without Borders: 9 Essentials for Everyday Leaders. A Lowcountry resident, Doug is available to speak for your business or civic organization. Visit for more information.