Leadership Principles Series | Leading Self With Character: Integrity

Leadership Principles Series | Leading Self With Character: Integrity

This post continues our Leadership Principles Series. If you missed the other posts, take a few minutes to read them. We have discussed courage, authenticity, and emotional intelligence.

People look to leaders for examples to follow and lives to emulate. In order to influence others effectively, leaders need integrity.

Leaders with integrity live by an internalized system of values and beliefs. Their actions, decisions, choices, and habits all conform to high personal standards. Their lives are in harmony, with congruence between their actions and values.

Leaders with integrity are honest with themselves and others. They are truthful about significant issues and truthful about things trivial or mundane, understanding that even minor distortions of truth undermine character. Their candor is evident to others.

Leaders with integrity are willing to accept the personal consequences of difficult decisions. Readily admitting their mistakes and shortcomings, they are unequivocal in taking responsibility for their choices. In a team or organization, this means shouldering the blame when things go wrong.

By establishing themselves as people of integrity, leaders enable relationships of trust with people.  Without credibility, there is no foundation for working together to achieve a common goal or purpose. Leaders align their actions and decisions with their motives, beliefs, and ideals, inspiring those who follow to action as well.

This post was originally published at Mountain State University Leadertalk and is republished here with permission.

Filed As:  credibility, leadership

About Becky Robinson

I am the owner of Weaving Influence and the leader of the Weaving Influence team. We help authors and thought leaders grow their online influence. I am also a wife and mom of three daughters, and I enjoy running, reading, writing, a good cup of coffee, and dark chocolate.

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What People Are Saying

  • Becky, I loved this post. Integrity is well defined here. I coach my clients to figure out their top values, and to always….always go back to those before they speak, act, decide. They are the anchor of leading with integrity.

  • Hi Becky, not trying to be difficult, but whenever I see a post such as this I can’t help wondering why it’s always assumed that people with these traits have values worth emulating.
    With the exception of admitting his shortcomings, and looking at it from the perspective of his beliefs, Hitler fits most profiles of great leaders.
    Bernie Madoff and his kind built their businesses by projecting every one of these traits.
    I think it’s time for all those who choose to follow to take responsibility for vetting people in positional leadership roles on more than their ideology and spending more energy on due diligence of the person behind the traits.

  • Mary Jo —
    Thanks! Going back to core values before acting or deciding sounds like a good habit. As I wrote this post, I really struggled with examining my own integrity. It is really easy, I think, for people to get off course when exciting opportunities come along. We chase them before considering how they fit with our core values. Great advice.
    Miki —
    I agree with your last point. It is exceedingly important for people to know the values and habits of those they follow so that they can avoid the disaster of partnering with someone who is not who she seem to be.

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