Thoughts - Words - Deeds - Decided Integrity of a Leader

by Sunanda K. Chavan on Monday 28 March 2011, 2:28 PM | Category: Entrepreneurship| View: 1411 views


Integrity is both a part of who you are and what you do. It is about being true to your values, no matter what. And if those values are admired by others, you have the makings of a great leader, particularly in times of change.

We demand integrity in senior business and political leaders because we grant them so much power over us. But we want to trust everyone in our lives: family members, friends, colleagues and professional people. For example, we need to trust waiters and hairdressers to do a good job for us but they have little to gain by deceiving us. So, when they disappoint us, it's not as momentous as a moral failing in a high profile leader. We feel let down by integrity lapses in leaders because we expect so much of them: we want them to improve the fundamental quality of our lives.

There is a connection between trust and integrity, but trust is a broader concept. People need to be competent to earn our trust, not just honest. To be a credible candidate for any job, a person needs the skills and personal qualities to be effective in the role. Integrity is also broader than honesty. In addition to being honest, leaders with integrity must behave ethically. A criminal could be honest while breaking the law. Leaders with integrity must have an unwavering commitment to culturally accepted values and be willing to defend them. This requires them to do the right thing even if it is not in their personal interest. Leaders with integrity are responsible and consistent.

When the organization's leadership is based on integrity, employees will have that security feeling in them. Your people will trust you as their leader and also trust the organization they are working with. Since you have that trait, you will be more open and in truth to accept any genuine critics and openly accept them as a positive feedback; and always try to improve. When a leader accept openly to the genuine critics and negative feedback; and when your people saw the way you react to the critics, they will also be more acceptance and be more openly to accept mistakes and critics. This is called a 'leadership by example'. It is easier to work with people who are ready for improvement and not afraid of receiving any negative feedback. For employees, this type of working environment will create a peace of mind and minimize stress, anxiety and worry at the workplace. With a lesser stress; you will get more productivity. So, it is a win-win situation; benefit to your organization and to your people.

Although corporate reputation matters, your personal reputation matters even more. People buy from people. You must preframe customers by promoting your personal identity so that buyers seek you out, instead of you seeking them out.




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