“Integrity Leadership” wanted

by Aixa G. López

Unless you have been living under a rock, I am sure you have witnessed the happenings in the US, and if you are Hispanic like me, then, you must have heard about the situation in Puerto Rico.

In Puerto Rico, several members of the governor’s cabinet were arrested based on corruption charges while the governor was put on the spot due to 900 pages of a leaked chat where he conspired to manipulate the media and government contracts and made misogynist, racist, and sexist jokes; including disgusting comments regarding people who died during Hurricane Maria.

These days, we see a lack of authentic leadership around the world, but worse than that, we are witnessing a lack of integrity everywhere you go. I am from a different generation; a generation where technology was minimal and where our parents raised us telling us that education, honesty, and integrity were the most important values to preserve. At some point in time, that changed.

I am not sure when or why we have become a society where money, status, opportunism, unlimited power, and manipulation are the standard operating procedure to be “successful.” However, I keep thinking about where does that take you. All these people that seem to be successful overnight, that become impromptu leaders of the world, and that act as if they can get away with everything, are being exposed.

At least in Puerto Rico, people have awakened. They were awakened by the crude reality of those 900 pages of a chat that showed a group of “bro’s” chatting shamelessly and showing their true colors; conspiring on how they could manipulate public perception by creating fake social media accounts and targeting specific groups in society.

This awakening made the people of Puerto Rico cross party lines and made their voices heard. They protested in ways that we have never witnessed before. They took the streets on feet, bicycles, yoga, silent protests, placing flowers and candles that represented those who died during the hurricane, with aquatic demonstrations, on horses, motorcycles, banging cooking pots, and many more ways. The result of this awakening was the removal of the governor — an accomplishment without precedent.

But when we look at the future, what do we see? Some people say that things need to get worse before they get better, and this is what I think will happen. The millennials have spoken and are establishing a new way of raising our voices. But, now what?

We need commitment and discipline. We need to seek new leaders and reflect on those values that our past leaders had, and that enabled them to make historical changes and gain privileges that we have enjoyed for many years; core values such as integrity, honesty, genuine love for our country, commitment, and TRANSPARENCY.

As an engineer, I look at problems in a different way. I see them as opportunities to improve and make significant changes. Let’s ask ourselves, am I honest at work? Do I give my 100% in all I do? When I see something wrong, do I look the other way? Do I care more about my paycheck than about my contribution? Ask yourself, how different I am from the President or the Governor? Do I mock, bully, and manipulate?

Having an introspection should be our next fight. Making a personal commitment to integrity shall become our motto in life. Demanding transparency is the only way to evolve into a new and better world, but it will take all of us to accomplish it.

Aixa G. López, P. E. is a Consultant, Leadership Development, Digital Marketing, Organizational Process Improvement living in the Elmira, New York Area. She is a strategically minded, analytical Industrial Engineer with 27+ years of experience providing operations management, organizational process improvement, leadership & team development, and digital marketing. She has been recognized for improving organizational effectiveness and efficiency through leadership, aligning business processes to realize cost savings and revenue growth. She’s an industrial engineer who entered the field because of her passion for fixing things. As a columnist for CNY Latino, Aixa shares with the readers this passion and the lessons she has learnt along the way.