Writing a biography can be pure hell. There are the wonderful heaven moments when you are in love with and entwined with the subject of your tome but always, in the back of your mind, you know they are going to die. Everything is going to come crashing down. Hopefully there will be someone there to save you. I did, and didn’t, have someone to save me. Neil McKenna, a renowned biographer, was there to warn me. The warning took place in the dining room of the Montague Hotel in London. Neil told me that I had to stop and if I did not I would wind up in the bottom of a lake. Dave Dryburgh drowned on July 12, 1948 in a bathtub of a lake near Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. If not for two people I would have met a smilier fate some 67 (?) years later.
So I picked myself up, dusted myself off after lunch at the Montague Hotel, heeded Mr. McKenna’s advice, abandoned the book and swam off. The ridiculous school London City University (or City University London) began their persecution of me (see prior blogs using the search engine) and I gave up the book in an incomplete state. After a series of misadventures I landed myself at the Trump International Hotel where the ending of the book will take place. Actually across the street at the Shangri-La Vancouver.
The problem with writing a biography is that although one begins with hero worship and adulation, sooner or later, one begins to see that the guy had some faults. It does seem disloyal, rightfully so, but it is difficult to suppress such knowledge. Uncle Dave had a flaw and one that proved fatal to him. He preferred ‘big shots’ to real people. I am not sure that he had any friends, although I could be mistaken. What he would do is to court the attention of people that were ‘big shots’. A ‘big shot” is someone you view as having more power, more authority or more money than you. My Uncle Dave was reportedly a man of integrity, the trait I admire most about him. But I sense, that he lost his integrity when he was around these men. Of course, men, who ever thought there could be a big shot around Regina in the 1940s that was a woman? The same is true today unfortunately. So he drank coffee with a group of men, I am sure entertained them with his stories but he was not real with them and constantly courted their favor.
What is integrity? you ask (or I make you ask): 1.the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness.”he is known to be a man of integrity” 2. the state of being whole and undivided.”upholding territorial integrity and national sovereignty.”
I am about to ‘borrow’ from someone’s blog. They rip apart the concept of integrity and come up with three essential qualities. The first being consistency: “Consistency is about being the same regardless of the situation. For example, do you know of leaders whose mood changes by the day and make rash decisions on certain days, yet calm and engaging on other days? This would be an example of inconsistency of actions and outcomes.”
But the blog goes on and gets right on target. “Honesty or accuracy of one’s actions requires intentionality and thought. How honest or accurate are your behaviors, actions, and words with other people that you lead? I was at a meeting recently with a CEO who cares deeply about values yet is out of integrity because there is a lack of honesty and authenticity in how he behaves. While he says that he cares about teamwork, he doesn’t listen to others and gets defensive when challenged with different views. He believes in creating a culture of love but publicly berates and belittles junior employees.”
Then the blog goes on to say this which has profound meaning to me and is part of a list that is supposed to help someone get integrity . 4) Recognizes the impact that he/she has on others. This leader is conscious of how his/her behavior and words impacts those around them intentionally and often times, unintentionally. So when this leader behaves in a way that is out of integrity, he/she stops, acknowledges, apologizes, and corrects course. This requires humility, authenticity, and ‘others-centeredness’ as you need to ‘see’ how others are responding to you.”
I am somewhat surprised to see that the author of this blog is a woman. Her name is So Young Kong, it is a Huffpost. Look it up.
So that is it for the day because Mario and I are going to Mendocino and he wants to get going. But here are my final words. I do disagree with So Young. One either has integrity or has not. Dave Dryburgh in 1948 dd not and he drowned. His niece, Alexis Dryburgh, five at the time, did have it then and has it now. So there! So there! So there!