One of the biggest issues an organization will face, is having a lack of integrity. The public doesn’t care if it’s real or perceived, it’s always bad for business. When you have leadership with integrity, you’ll minimize the risk of that happening.
While it won’t eliminate everything, having the proper leaders in place can make a world of difference.
Leadership With Moral Purpose
Another way to say this is to lead with a moral purpose. Many companies are trying to do this, and it helps shape how the public views them. Prime examples are Apple and Google; these are two of the largest companies in our world today. Their companies have an internal focus of reducing waste which helps (hopefully) the environment and reverses the effects of climate change
Whether they’re doing enough, or if it even matters isn’t the point. This is their moral belief and they’re following it. A moral belief can change, unless it’s rooted in something.
Case in point, the western world was founded by Christians, and through Christian beliefs. Hospitals were developed because monks, priests, and nuns took care of the elderly and the sick.
These places were all birthed out of Leadership with a moral purpose. The people who formed our society today gave us building blocks, and these building blocks are what we get to build on.
Our morality might be different. But our focus should be similar. When you lead the people below you should be respected, and treated properly.
Why Is Integrity Important In Leadership?
I was told a story once that the word integrity comes from the latin word integra. It was used by Roman soldiers on the battlefield and meant protect your heart. If a roman soldier didn’t protect his heart on the battlefield, he died.
The same goes for leaders. If you as a leader have no integrity, and you make a foolish choice. You lose your heart.
Your integrity is the glue that holds your place in leadership together. Without that glue, you are nothing.
- Who Will Follow A Lying Leader?
- Will You Follow A Leader That Takes You For Granted?
- Do People Like Leaders Who Hoard All The Glory?
- What if your leader never does anything to help the team?
These are all leadership examples I’ve come across in my life. I can look at each one of those questions and attache 2-3 names minimum to them. While I’ve forgiven them, it doesn’t mean I have to be like them.
You have a choice, what kind of leader will you be? Will you lead by fear or lead by action?
This is a choice you have to make.
What A Lack Of Integrity Does To Your Team
I might have written about this before but before I was in college, I was hired to be a produce manager. The first day I walked into my department was a wake up call.
The morale was horrible, people had been told I was going to fire them, and everyone was on the verge of quitting.
What Do You Do In This Situation?
I smiled, picked up a box of tomatoes and worked alongside my new team. By the end of the day, they had a slight respect for me. I kept up with them and didn’t threaten, abuse, or yell at them.
When you treat people with respect. They will repay you in kind. Leadership with integrity is by far a great skill to have.
How Do You Use Leadership Integrity?
In the story above I wrote about how I worked alongside my crew. For 6 months I did this and received great traction with everybody. However there was one guy on my crew that didn’t like me.
In fact one time he said I really hate you. (To my face)
A lot of people would throw in the towel here, but I’d already learned that he wanted my job, and I was brought in. He’d applied for it, and was turned down. he saw me as an obstacle in his career. He had other issues as well, but I’m not getting into those.
Once he was honest, and said, “I hate you.” I smiled at him and gave him my thanks for being honest.
Not many people were honest with me during that time. It was frustrating. To hear an honest sentence, even when it was a sentence I didn’t want to hear was refreshing.
So I asked him to help me train my new associates. I wanted his expertise and honest. Years later, when I left the department. He was still there, and one of my best workers.
What Are The 5 Attributes To Integrity?
Honesty: You can’t have integrity without honesty. Now this doesn’t mean you have to tell people everything, you have to have some tact. but outright lying to people should be prohibited. When you are honest. Your people will follow suit, and you’ll be able to lead easier and more efficiently.
Take Responsibility For Your Actions/Choices: One of my biggest pet peeves stems from leaders who make choices but don’t accept the consequences. You see this happen all the time in politics. Republicans And Democrats Do it. They make a choice, vote on it, and then say they weren’t informed. Who’s fault is that? Do some research before you make a choice, and if the choice goes south. Admit you were wrong and apologize. It’ll go a long way when you have leadership with integrity.
Let The Needs Of The Team Go Above Yours: Most of my examples are from the workplace, and take this one with a grain of salt. Your private life and work life should be separate, otherwise you’ll go crazy. However your team needs to know you’re there for them, and you’ll do whatever it takes to help them get the job done. Make sure they feel empowered, and make sure they have everything they need to succeed.
Respect Everyone: Whether you’re talking with a janitor or a CEO, that person still needs to be respected and treated the same. Never put someone down because of their station in life. You don’t know battles they’re fighting, and a smile can go a long way.
Give The Benefit Of The Doubt: Trust the people below you, until they give you reason not to. When you give the benefit of the doubt you’re sowing seeds of respect in their life, and they’ll reward you for it.
What Is Integrity Of Character?
Integrity of character is choosing what is right, even when everyone else is going the wrong way. You make a decision, stick by it, unless you find out you’re wrong.
However if you believe you’re right. Don’t let others sway you, even if by others it’s everyone. Leading with integrity can get lonely, but it will eventually be worth it.
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