Neuroscience society to tell truth events nov 2017


Many years ago, in an interview, I was asked what I felt was the most important characteristic of a leader. I didn’t have time to think but the answer I came up with surprised me. I didn’t say charisma, knowledge, hard work or dynamism. My answer was integrity.

Jesus was a man of integrity. He didn’t just talk a good game, his actions matched his words. When he told people to love their neighbour, he showed them how, in significant and sacrificial ways.

On one occasion Jesus was approached by a leper:
A man with leprosy came and knelt before him and said, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” Immediately he was cleansed of his leprosy.
Matthew 8:2-3 NIV

Jesus touched the man before he said anything to him. He knew that his touch would speak much more loudly than his words ever could.

Lepers were considered unclean. They were highly contagious. They were ostracized from society. Isolated. Without human contact.

Jesus could have healed him from a distance, and it would have probably been easier for him, socially speaking. There was serious stigma against those who associated with outcasts. But Jesus chose to move close and touch him, healing the man physically, but also restoring him relationally and emotionally.

During the pandemic, we learnt what it was like to go without physical touch. We couldn’t shake hands or hug; the best we could do was an elbow tap or a fist bump. Many of us can remember how special it felt to be able to be able to greet someone with a hug again!

When Jesus told us to treat others in the same way as would we want to be treated, he showed us what it looked like in action. He had integrity, his words and actions were consistent.

At the moment, I am involved in setting up a social supermarket. It has taken a long time to get off the ground and there have been numerous delays. However, I never doubted that it would come to fruition because the key person, who promised me his full backing, was a man of integrity. I knew I could take him at his word.

If you had been in my place at the interview, you might have given a different answer, but I think mine would remain the same. Integrity is what I want to see in leaders, as much today as ever.