This post is a follow-up to my last one about how Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick role-modeled lack of integrity. This post is about how he may be beginning his long journey toward integrity.

After pleading guilty in court, Michael Vick issued an apology to the public, to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, to Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank, to Falcons head coach Bobby Petrino and to his teammates. He accepted his responsibility to shoulder the consequences he will experience due to his lack of integrity, which at this time appears likely to include prison time and having to return to the Atlanta Falcons millions of dollars from his football contract with them. He asked forgiveness and promised to redeem himself.

Good start. Long road ahead. I do not say this with anger or malice, but rather as encouragement and support.

Falcons owner Arthur Blank said he believed Vick’s comments were sincere and heartfelt, and that he accepted Vick’s apologies despite also understandably being “profoundly disappointed” in him. Baseball immortal Hank Aaron, a member of the Falcon’s advisory board, said he believes Vick’s apology was sincere. He also said, “I’ve never seen anybody who had so much ability who had fallen so far. He’s got to get his life straightened out and I think that he will. It’s too bad he had to fall this far in order to do it.”

Yes it is. Vick is by far not the first person who had to be what I call “bludgeoned into surrendering” his ego in order to fully open to true, deep and lasting transformation. I speak here as someone who also has had to be “bludgeoned into surrender” at times in my life.

Michael Vick has taken his first step toward bringing himself back into integrity. His words now need to not only be followed by actions that match those words but by an inner transformation process that makes him capable of consistently aligning his words and his actions from now on. Only time will tell the extent to which this occurs. He has my heartfelt best wishes on his journey. Perhaps he is ready to read my book, The New IQ: How Integrity Intelligence Serves You, Your Relationships and Our World. If anyone how reads this post knows Michael Vick, please contact me. I would be delighted to send Vick a pre-publication draft of the manuscript so he does not have to wait the January 2008 release date before he can get the final version.