Leading with IntegrityIntegrity Compass Image

“When you sacrifice your integrity, you erode your most precious leadership possession. People will forget and forgive any judgment error that you make, but integrity mistakes are forever.”

David Cottrell, author of Listen Up Leader – Pay Attention, Improve and Guide

The first question most people ask themselves is: “Do I trust my boss and the other members of management?”

Trust is a by-product of integrity. Leaders are asked to be honest, respectful, responsible and credible. Without integrity, leadership rings hollow.

Research shows that when leaders abuse their power and lack integrity, it results in employee stress, decreased job satisfaction and turnover.

When experiencing this type of leadership, employees may retaliate against the organization through theft and lost productivity. For example, employee theft and fraud cost the average business 1-2% of their sales every year.

Integrity is the foundation for leadership. Does it matter what the leader’s vision is if s/he does not show integrity and honesty to the team? Does it matter how you communicate if people don’t trust you? Everything the leader does counts and is noticed by his/her team.

To instill an environment of integrity in your leadership remember to:

  • Keep your promises.
  • Speak out for what you think is important.
  • Err on the side of fairness.
  • Admit mistakes.
  • Show respect and regard for others.
  • Act on misconduct of subordinates.
  • Keep your facts and figures honest.
  • Use funds appropriately (ie. traveling, purchasing, etc.)
  • Respect other people’s time.

Never doubt that your leadership is needed. Great leaders understand the value of demonstrating integrity.

Sometimes integrity takes boldness and courage to uphold, but the outcome is deep respect from others around you.

Resource: BHI – “Leadership Integrity, Executive Summary”