Are you who you say you are?
Think about what has transpired today. Think about the conversations you’ve had. Think about the emails and Slack messages you’ve sent.
Have you communicated with an intent to deceive? Have you denied another person their ability to experience reality?
What is Integrity?
Integrity is defined as “the state of being whole and undivided”. It’s about being consistent, reliable, and above all, truthful in every situation.
It’s a core identity of great leaders: people who do what they say they are going to do, when they say they are going to do it.
Is it really that simple? It might be more than just integrity, but it’s certainly not less. Personal and relational integrity are the bedrock foundations of every successful leader.
I think C.S. Lewis gets it right when he says this:
Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching.C.S. Lewis
The Enemy of Integrity
But what if you aren’t marked by integrity?
Then you are marked by duplicity, a double-mindedness that uses sleight of words with intent to deceive. You dishonestly say one thing when you intend to do another.
Duplicity in leadership is destructive. It breeds suspicion and mistrust, eroding every key principle of a productive work environment.
So ask yourself: am I being duplicitous in the way I lead?
Am I leading out of the private victories of character development or am I parading in the public victories of personality tactics?
Duplicity cannot be masked for long periods of time, because eventually the false reality you puppet comes back to control and expose you.
Consider these eye-opening statistics about integrity in the workplace.
75% of employees say that integrity is the most important trait in a leader.
Companies with high levels of integrity have a 42% higher return on investment compared to those with low levels of integrity.
Do you want your marriage, your family, your workplace or your community to be casualties of your character? I believe the cost is far too high.
How Do I Grow in Integrity?
So how can you champion integrity in your leadership?
I have a few brief ideas:
- Be the person you are. And if that person lacks integrity, own up to it, ditch the fixed mindset mentality and embrace the reality that you can change.
- Let your “Yes” be “Yes”, and let your “No” be “No”. Develop self-respect for your own words and behavior.
- Do what you say you are going to do, when you say you are going to do it. If you can’t follow through, tell the other party.
- Admit when you’re wrong and make it a point to grow in response. Integrity doesn’t mean perfection, but it does mean active movement toward wholeness and unity in thought, word and deed.
- Strive for consistency in what you think, say and do. That expression of character is frequently caught and replicated by those around you.
Your spouse, your family, your organization and your community need that version of you.
To growing as leaders with integrity,
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