Integrity In Leadership is absolutely essential. Even if you had no other skills, having integrity puts you far ahead of most other individuals.
Post Enron and the subprime meltdown, the world is suffering from a crisis of integrity. People just don’t know who to trust anymore.
Trust for governments is at a new low, evidenced by the many movements across the world. Citizens have just stopped trusting their leaders to work for the people’s interest.
Indeed, it is rare to find a leader of integrity these days. Someone who will be willing to do what they say, and say what they do. Someone who is upright, honest and an example for others to follow.
Grenville Kleiser said, “You are already of consequence in the world if you are known as a man of strict integrity.” Even more so today. Having integrity is one key ticket to leadership and promotion in life. Ironically, men with integrity never display their quality until it their chances of promotion and success are threatened.
Dwight David Eisenhower says; the supreme quality for leadership is unquestionably integrity. Without it, no real success is possible, no matter whether it is on a section gang, a football field, in the army or an office.
Integrity may not make you a popular leader, but it does make you a credible leader that has influence. Because you have a track record of integrity, people may not like you, but they will trust and respect you and your strength.
Let’s delve deeper into this…
What is Integrity in Leadership?
When we say that an object has integrity, we mean the object has the state of being whole and undivided. It is what it is meant to be.
By extension, for us, integrity is what we do what we say, and what we say we do. As a person of integrity, your word is your bond. Your yes is a yes and your no, a no. Your word is as a good as gold. The moment it leaves your mouth, you allow yourself to be bound by your words.
But a true person of integrity stands by his word and pays the high cost of fulfilling those words. That’s why this person can be trusted.
For example, you promised your family that you’ll be there for the thanksgiving dinner, but at the last minute your boss called in and tells you that he wants the project done by tomorrow morning.
Suddenly, the cost of fulfilling your word to your family goes up! You think about the consequences of rejecting your boss so that you can be with your family; would it jeopardize your chances of promotion? Will he view you unfavorably?
This is the price of integrity. Sometimes the cost of fulfilling the word goes up, but the person of integrity sticks by it, no matter how painful it may become.
The advantage of being branded as a person of integrity is that once you have established that reputation, people are happy to deal with you; business will pay a premium to partner with you; investors want to put their money with you. All because you’re a person who can be trusted.
It almost takes a lifetime to build a reputation of integrity in leadership, but if you have that, it is truly one of the pinnacles of your achievement in life. You may not get a reward on stage for it, but you will be rewarded with true friends, business partners, colleagues and people who trust you and can be trusted.
If you want to learn more about how you can develop integrity in your everyday life, please purchase my book Everyday Leadership to learn how you can become a leader that people trust!