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Archive: July 2021

How Much Do You Value Your Integrity?

Here's a great article by Dave Anderson - Becoming a Leader of Character

We can't just talk about Integrity. We must DO Integrity.

Lots of leaders talk about Integrity. They claim Integrity is the top attribute they want from a new hire. Integrity is probably the most common core value that organizations proclaim. The saying is easy. The doing is hard. Many well intentioned leaders talk a good game when it comes to Integrity, but they set a bad example when it comes to putting their convictions into action.

I'm not saying these leaders are running around intentionally deceiving people. But many, including me, have set a bad example in the simplest tests of our Integrity. Some of the simplest tests are set up by the commitments we make. What commitments are the ones many leaders fail to fulfill? How about:

  • "I'll check into that for you."

  • "I'll follow up with you on Monday."

  • "I am open to feedback."

When we make these statements, we are making a commitment - a promise. Too often, I have made these same statements with good intentions and then let those promises slide. Other things distract me, or I procrastinate. I don't look back at my notes, and later realize I failed to fulfill another promise by the agreed upon deadline. I am sure I am not the only one. But the more we do it, the more it becomes a habit - a bad habit of character.

We may make ourselves feel better and rationalize away the importance of those commitments. We have so many things to do. An unscheduled meeting or something else makes the commitment fall to the bottom of our priority list. These things happen to all of us. But we have to ask ourselves these questions:

  • Is our word important to us?

  • If people don't believe our word is important to us, why should their word be important to them?

As we stated in last week's blog, the root word for Integrity is integer. Integer means whole or pure. The purity of a piece of gold establishes its value. That is the same for our word. When we make a commitment, if we are hit and miss on fulfilling those simple promises we make so quickly, why should anyone value our word?

A leader at work or at home, who wants to inspire Integrity in the people we lead, has to not only talk about Integrity, but also DO Integrity. The small tests come daily and prepare us for the big test to come. Our teams and our families are watching how we respond to those tests. Each time we fall short on those tests, we cheapen the value of our word. This also sets the example that Integrity is cheap for everyone.

The leaders in any organization, whether it is a Fortune 500 company, a law enforcement agency, a smaller work team, or a family, establish the value of Integrity through both their words and their actions. No matter who we are, or what title we hold, our Integrity will be valued based on how we keep our commitments - the big commitments and the small ones.

Dig Deep Questions:

  • What value do you place on your Integrity?

  • Would the people observing you set the same price on your Integrity?

High Water/Flood Safety: How To Stay Safe

Parsons (KS) is no stranger to high water and flooding. Recent rains dropped up to 10 inches of water in and around the Parsons area. This has resulted in high creek and river levels that have impacted the community. Additional standing water has left high water on the many roadways or has made some areas in town impassable.

High water and flooding can be dangerous because they happen quickly and can be unpredictable, says the National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL). If a flash flood strikes, it's important to know what you can do to help keep you and your family safe. Here are some tips to help you prepare and stay safe during a flash flood:


Flash floods are sudden, fast-moving floods that typically occur within three to six hours of heavy rainfall, says the National Weather Service (NWS). A flash flood or high water in Parsons (KS) is usually the result of a severe downpour associated with thunderstorms. It's important to remember that since it can rain anywhere, everyone is at risk for flash flooding. However, you may be at a higher risk for flash floods if you live in a flood zone, near Labette Creek or in low lying areas in the City.


Because flash floods can happen with little warning, it may be helpful to prepare during dry times. Consider developing an evacuation plan and create an emergency "go bag" so that you're ready to evacuate quickly if a flash flood threatens your area. You should also be sure that you and your family understand the difference between a flash flood watch and warning. The NSSL explains that a flash flood watch means flooding is possible, while a flash flood warning is issued when flooding is about to occur or already happening.


If you're at home when a flash flood strikes, the NWS offers these tips to help you stay safe:

  • Follow evacuation orders: If local officials have provided evacuation instructions before or during a flash flood, it's important to take them seriously as the timing of these floods can be unpredictable.
  • Move to higher ground immediately: If your home floods, get to higher ground as soon as possible. However, you should avoid seeking shelter in a closed attic as you may risk becoming trapped by rising floodwater. Only get on the roof if necessary and signal for help once you're there.
  • Avoid contact with floodwater: Try to avoid contact with floodwater that enters your home. Avoid rooms, including the basement, where floodwater has touched or submerged electrical outlets or cords. This is because you may be at risk for electrical shock.


If you're in the car and a flash flood is imminent or occurring, try to stay calm and remember these tips from www.Ready.gov :

  • Don't drive around barricades: If you come across a barrier blocking a flooded road, do not drive around it. Instead, back up and find an alternate route.
  • Avoid driving on bridges over fast-moving water: Floodwater can wash out a bridge with little or no warning. If water is moving quickly under a bridge, avoid driving over the bridge.
  • Avoid driving through floodwater: Driving through floodwater is dangerous, as it only takes 12 inches of water to for a small sedan or SUV to float, says the NWS. You should also avoid driving through large puddles. They may look more shallow than they are, and can disguise hazards such as a washed-out road or sharp debris.
  • Stay in your vehicle if you're surrounded by fast-moving water: Unless water is rising inside your vehicle, do not exit the vehicle when you're surrounding by quickly-moving floodwater. If water is rising inside your vehicle, exit the car and get onto the roof.

If you're ever in doubt about you or your family's safety during a flood, remember to turn around, don't drown, says the NWS.

Flash floods can happen suddenly and without warning. By planning ahead and remembering these flood safety tips, you and your family can be better prepared if a flash flood affects your area.


Chief Robert Spinks, MA, MS

Parsons Police Department




Have a Safe 4th of July Holiday

Safe and Sane 4th of July

The Parsons Police Department hopes that you are having a fun and safe summer vacation.  The Fourth of July-also known as Independence Day or July 4th-has been a federal holiday in the United States since 1941, but the tradition of Independence Day celebrations goes back to the 18th century and the American Revolution. On July 2nd, 1776, the Continental Congress voted in favor of independence, and two days later delegates from the 13 colonies adopted the Declaration of Independence, a historic document drafted by Thomas Jefferson.

From 1776 to the present day, July 4th has been celebrated as the birth of American independence, with festivities ranging from fireworks, parades and concerts to more casual family gatherings and barbecues.


July 4th Safety Tips

According to the U.S. Consumer Product and Safety Commission, there are nearly 9,000 emergency room-treated injuries associated with fireworks a year. Here are a few tips on how to have fun but also stay safe on the 4th of July.

  • Never give fireworks to children.
  • Always follow the instructions on fireworks packaging.
  • Keep a supply of water close by as a precaution.
  • Make sure the person lighting fireworks always wears eye protection.
  • Light only one firework at a time.
  • Never relight a 'dud.'
  • Store fireworks in a cool, dry place away from children and pets.
  • Never throw or point a firework toward people, animals, vehicles, structures or flammable materials.
  • Stay at least 500 feet away from professional fireworks displays.
  • Leave any area immediately where untrained amateurs are using fireworks.


Driving Safety Tips

July 4th is the second-most-deadly holiday period of the year - just behind New Year's - due to impaired driving. Drunk driving is a serious crime.  If you're caught we'll place you under arrest.  No exceptions.  No excuses. Much of the tragedy that comes from impaired-driving related crashes could be prevented if everyone would take a few simple precautions before going out to party this Fourth of July holiday. Always follow these tips for a safer July 4th celebration:

  • Whenever you plan on using alcohol, designate your sober driver before going out and give that person your keys;
  • If you're impaired, call a taxi or call a sober friend or family member to get you home safely;
  • Promptly report drunk drivers you see on the roadways to law enforcement;
  • Wearing your safety belt or using protective gear on your motorcycle  is your best defense against an impaired driver;
  • And remember, Friends Don't Let Friends Drive Drunk.  If you know someone who is about to drive or ride while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely.