Slice of life: The power of integrity



It was the middle of a workday when I got a call from my old editor. She was now a director at a nonprofit and asked if I wouldn’t mind coming round for a “chat” that day.

This not being my first time round the block, I was pretty sure what that meant. But, either way, I couldn’t just walk out of my job and go to an interview. Thankfully, she agreed for me to swing by after working hours.

Before, in past interviews, I would panic. This time I didn’t. Something was different.

I had been giving a lot of thought to integrity and how others perceive me. Wholeness, I had come to learn, was a key part of the etymology of integrity. We could only hope to be truly honest with ourselves and those around us if we portrayed our complete being.

With that in mind, I had begun to be nothing but myself, for better or worse, in all my interpersonal dealings. If I meet you and we get along, then great, that could be the start of a beautiful friendship. If we’re at odds then that’s also fine: we can go our separate ways and both be better for it.

Perhaps it was this understanding that washed away the nerves during the interview. I talked freely and comfortably. It didn’t feel as though I was in the crosshairs of my prospective bosses or that they were trying to pick me apart to reveal my flaws. This was just me, after all — a person I had grown rather comfortable with.

Looking back on that day — from the seat of my new job

— I’m grateful for the simplest of choices made: to just go with it. — Kibo Ngowi, communications and marketing co-ordinator at Accountability Lab, as told to Luke Feltham

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Luke Feltham
Luke Feltham

Luke Feltham runs the Mail & Guardian's sports desk. He was previously the online day editor.

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