Importance of Integrity in Leadership
Integrity appears at or near the top of every list of desirable leadership traits.
A survey by Robert Half Management Resource found that integrity ranked as the most important characteristic for both front line employees and C suite leaders.
So why is it difficult, and what does it take to lead with integrity?
You would think of behavior and characteristic like integrity that’s so widely accepted as necessary could be universally defined.
Importance of Integrity in Leadership
What is integrity
We all have a general understanding, but one person’s integrity is another person’s being a sellout.
You can’t lead or live with integrity or expect others to do so if you can’t clearly define it. For many people, integrity is synonymous with ethics. That’s a critical piece of it, but there’s more to it than that.
A computer program has integrity when it does what it’s designed to do without errors. A building has integrity when its construction meets all the required standards.
To Webster’s New World Dictionary defines integrity is the quality or state of being complete wholeness, the quality or condition of being unimpaired, and sound moral principle.
Still, a little unclear.
But let’s break down Webster’s definition in practical terms and apply it to leadership.
Think of them as the seven Cs of integrity driven leadership.
7 Cs of integrity driven leadership
Individuals who act with integrity or clear on their values, beliefs, and priorities.
And like a subtle Jim stone light shined on, this person isn’t scattered or refused by impurities and inconsistency.
Clarity of purpose of principles is evident in every action, decision, and Communication, too.
Faithfulness, fidelity, stability, Steadfast, unwavering; These were the words that define the person who possesses constancy.
She is unwavering in her dedication, and He’s steadfast in his belief; they’re faithful to the commitments and promises that they make.
There’s a fine line between constancy and rigidity, constancy, and connection integrity.
Don’t shackle you to a set of beliefs forever. It does require a thoughtful examination to determine the truth.
This is closely tied to constancy. Consistency transforms belief into action. The feeling of our thoughts is demonstrated through the consistency of our actions.
Consistency promotes trust and provides a sense of stability for others.
See congruence and geometry mean that two objects were roughly the same in shape and size applied to the people.
It means there’s consistency between what we feel on the inside in what we do on the outside. Congruence, he takes the concept of consistency to a much deeper level.
You could be consistent without being concluded, but you can’t be controlled without being consistent.
Commitment requires two things a promise and an involvement. The person of integrity commits or pledges to act in a specific manner, and that promise obligates involvement.
As the pig said to the chicken at suggestion to treat their caretaker farmer to a breakfast of ham and eggs.
This requires your participation, and on the other hand, and committing.
Courage is the willingness to face or deal with anything dangerous, difficult, or painful rather than avoiding it by making another choice from a physical sense.
It’s an example of the fighter flight decision. The implication holds from a moral perspective, too.
The leader of integrity faces and makes a difficult choice even when the outcome could be painful or unpopular.
Concerned When uses a verb means to show interest or regard for a person or thing, it’s opposite is indifference.
The concern we speak of here is what Webster defined his sound moral principle. It’s the ethical part of the definition of integrity.
Integrity driven leaders are concerned with understanding and doing what’s right. Concern also requires considering other’s interests rather than a sold devotion to your own.
It took almost 420 words to explain the definition of a story we all believe that we know and understand, and that’s why it’s so difficult to agree on what integrity and leadership means.
You might believe that integrity is about your character. I might see it is consistency or courage, and we both would be right.
So, here’s my definition of integrity, completeness, honesty, transparency, thought Communication and action leading, and living with integrity means being accountable and responsible to yourself.
It also means considering the implications of your actions and decisions on others, both ethically, morally, and physically.
It takes being clear, constant, and consistent in the beliefs and values for which you stand.
Integrity means that there’s a congruence between your internal beliefs and external actions, and it means that you dare to do watch right, even when it’s not convenient or when no one else is looking.
There is no step program for leading with integrity. It’s an ongoing quest.
Here are two main areas on which you should focus today.
Tell yourself the truth.
Three-D vision, denial, distortion, and delusion can blind us to the reality of how reviewed by others.
We deny the truth, distort reality, and delude ourselves into thinking we’re better. And the cure is simple. The continuous search for an acknowledgment of truth and reality.
Talk openly and often about the importance of trust to remaining agile and relevant in your marketplace.
Most important, be honest about areas where you aren’t acting with complete integrity in your organization’s products, services, and relationships.
Remember, truth is the victim; we value the illusion of success; integrity-driven leaders focus on what’s real.
Make better choices.
Many years ago, Dr. Harry Emerson first created a six-point test for deciding right from wrong, and Dr. Preston Bradley later adapted it.
Well, here’s an updated version of those questions for today’s environment.
- Does your course of action seem logical, responsible, and legal?
- Would the results be beneficial for all if everyone made the same decision?
- Where will your plan of action lead part of the potential unintended consequences? How will it affect others?
- Will you think well of yourself when you look back at what you’ve done, even if the results are optimum?
- How would the person you most admire handle a situation? What would your hero do?
- What would your friends and family and those you admire think about your decision? How would you feel when it shows up on the newspaper’s front page or in your social media feed?
In the final big area is to value relationships. All great leaders create a focus on clear goals and high expectations. They expect results, and they ensure the effective execution of well-designed strategies.
Integrity driven leaders approached their leadership responsibilities from a different perspective. Their power comes from trust rather than fear.
You lead in the world where trust, confidence, and credibility are, unfortunately, in short supply.
Leadership is the ability to influence the actions and outcomes of others in a way that delivers positive results.
Integrity is the crucial and often ignored element for sustaining and nimble organization that can flourish in any environment.