Leading With Integrity

Does integrity rank high among the values you expect to see in a leader’s behavior? If your answer is a strong yes, I invite you to decide how you want to convey integrity with your own actions.\r\n\r\nThree suggestions for your consideration:\r\n\r\n1. Take a moment to define what integrity means to you. Is it honesty? Kindness? Virtue? And does it occupy a predominant position in your personal mission statement? Is it implicit, or is it not present at all? If you haven’t explicitly committed to display the highest possible levels of integrity in your life, I invite you to seriously consider doing so.\r\n\r\n2. Look at your day-to-day responsibilities and decide where you want to draw the line. Will your actions display integrity in absolute ways (e.g., you believe you should only sell products that benefit your customers) or conditional ways (e.g., if you have to meet your quota, you may push a product, even if it doesn’t meet a customer’s needs)? I had a boss once tell me that he approached all his actions as if they were going to be printed on the front page of a newspaper. What have your standards been so far? What do you want your standards to be from here onward?\r\n\r\n3. Observe and learn from other leaders’ behaviors. Have you read or seen any positive examples recently? U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower said: “The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionably integrity. Without it, no real success is possible, no matter whether it is on a section gang, a football field, in an army, or in an office.” Are there any negative examples you have committed to avoid? Don’t just look for major scandals (e.g., Enron) but also for smaller acts that could be seen as borderline deviations: Is it acceptable to exaggerate the accomplishments on your résumé? Are you comfortable when a co-worker makes a minor negative remark about another person behind their back?\r\n\r\nThe book of Proverbs (10:9) says: “Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but he who makes his ways crooked will be found out.” I would add: Even if the crooked ways weren’t ever found out, I have learned that nothing beats the peace of mind of always leading your own life and leading others with integrity.\r\n\r\nI welcome your comments.\r\n\r\nPercy M. Cannon\r\nAuthor, Consultant, Facilitator & Coach\r\nwww.cannon.consulting

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