The difference between who we say we are and how we actually live impacts not just us personally, but also everyone we lead. But how can we learn to identify this gap and begin shrinking it? 

Photo of Terra Mattson - graphic for Christian Woman Leadership Podcast

In this episode, Holly and I talk with our guest Terra Mattson, about this issue, which she calls an integrity gap. We dive into what this means, common symptoms of an integrity gap, and how to start closing this gap. In addition, Terra sheds light on why unresolved trauma is common in leaders and what leaders need to do about it.

We also discuss with Terra whether we should address integrity gaps when we see them in other people. Finally, we explore why speaking up is so important, even when it’s risky and what it means to become a wholehearted leader.

This is an important conversation for every leader, whether you are just getting started or whether you’ve been in leadership for years. As Terra reminds us in the conversation, this is an ongoing process and none of us are immune to integrity gaps.

Subscribe to the podcast here

This post contains affiliate links, which means if you choose to make a purchase via one of the links, we will receive a commission at no extra cost to you. This helps to support the costs of running the podcast and blog.


Shrinking Integrity Gaps, Finding Your Safe People, & Speaking Up When It’s Risky:

  • Terra’s life and leadership [4:38]
  • Terra’s leadership journey [6:40]
  • Why integrity matters for leaders [10:00]
  • Integrity gaps [15:10]
  • Most common symptoms of integrity gaps [21:00]
  • Unresolved trauma [28:00]
  • How to begin shrinking an integrity gap [32:00]
  • Why is it hard for leaders to be honest about their struggles [35:00]
  • Identifying safe relationships and red flags for unhealthy counseling situations [39:00]
  • Being a safe person for others and when to refer out [45:00]
  • When you see an integrity gap in someone else [47:12]
  • Speaking up when it’s risky [53:58]
  • Becoming wholehearted leaders [1:01:41]
  • Leaders are learners [1:04:14]


Quotes from Terra Mattson:

  • “Anywhere you are leading, you have a following, and how you lead matters.”
  • “We don’t want to be vulnerable to the masses… but we do need to have a small circle of people who know us outside of our leadership role.”
  • “Leadership is an acceptable coping strategy.”
  • “When a leader disconnects from their own pain, they are disconnecting from the pain of those they lead as well.”
  • “God meets us right where we are at; He does the work.”
  • “Our job is not to fix one another; our job is to love one another.”
  • “There are costs for our behaviors, but it doesn’t mean your identity and who you are changes.”
  • “The bigger our influence, it feels lonelier because it seems like there’s less and less people who get it… that is a lie of the enemy that tries to keep us isolated.”
  • “A wholehearted leader is one who’s willing to give God their mind, their heart, even their body… our relationships and all of who we are.”

quote from Terra Mattson on Christian Woman Leadership Podcast

Resources & Links:


Connect with Terra Mattson:


Terra Mattson (MA LPC, LMFT) and her husband Jeff Mattson (MA ORGL) advocate for healthy leadership as the founders of the Living Wholehearted podcast and visionaries behind the global movement Courageous Girls. Jeff, an executive leadership coach, and Terra, a licensed therapist and author of Courageous: Being Daughters Rooted in Grace, are raising two daughters in Oregon.


Stay Connected:

Subscribe on your favorite podcast app. Click here to find all the options where you can find the podcast.

Join our Purposeful Leadership Facebook group! In the Facebook group, we can chat about what you need as a leader, what your challenges are, as well as celebrate the wins. This is a great community to learn and grow together. We want to get to know YOU.

[convertkit form=5179709]


Other Ways to Connect with Esther and the Christian Woman Leadership Podcast: