Why is integrity Important in Leadership?
Many leadership behaviors are recommended for a leader, of which integrity ranks supreme. When honesty, reliability, great character, and trust become distinguishing leadership traits, the moral compass of an organization is clearly defined.
Warren Buffet says this is the top attribute to consider when hiring as it matters the most.
Oprah Winfrey famously said that real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody will know whether or not you did it. This implies that society will generally be better if we all practice integrity.
In a workplace, employees who consistently act with personal integrity earn the trust of colleagues and management.
Integrity as a trait is usually formed early in life. Still, it can be learned or enhanced through initiatives such as leadership coaching and the self-awareness that integrity is an individual responsibility.
What is Integrity?
Integrity entails being truthful and upholding high moral standards. These standards must be followed daily without failing when no one is watching.
A person with integrity works without cutting corners, owns -up to mistakes, works with good intentions, is trustworthy, and generally avoids questionable practices.
Why is Integrity Skill Important?
We all need integrity skills. Whether we are chief financial officers, chief executive officers, or leadership coaches does not matter. This is because it is the epicenter of whether we can succeed in our professional and professional lives.
What is Integrity in leadership?
Integrity in leadership entails practicing integrity as a leader. This means a commitment to lead with credibility, respect, fulfilling commitments, and upholding business ethics. As one of the fundamentals of leadership, this core value is non-negotiable.
What is the Importance of Integrity in Leadership?
Integrity's influence in leadership is paramount. To know why you only need to look at what happens when a leader loses integrity. For some, it can lead to losing all that they have worked for, which includes being kicked out of the companies they helped establish or even going to jail.
Travis Kalanick, the founder and CEO of Uber; Jeffrey Skilling, the former CEO of Enron; and Elizabeth Holmes, the former CEO of Theranos, are good examples of why leadership without integrity is a house built of sand.
For inspiring leaders, who want inclusive leadership, integrity in leadership has the following six importance:
1. You build a good reputation.
By consistently showing integrity, you build a good reputation. This is critical for the success of your leadership and your company. This makes it easy to lead a team, communicate with investors, and build relationships.
2. You will own mistakes and take corrective measures.
To err is Human; owning up to mistakes demonstrates accountability and integrity. This offers an opportunity to fix mistakes and learn from them.
3. You become a Good Role Model.
By practicing integrity, you become an example to your direct reports and the large society. This is because you project an example of good behavior that they can emulate.
4. You Build Confidence.
When you practice integrity, your confidence grows tremendously. You will not have to remember lies, compromise values, or wear a mask on a daily basis. This enables you to be your authentic self which is great for self-confidence.
5. You will build Greater Trust.
When you consistently act with integrity, it builds greater trust, enabling stronger relationships. The dividend of this is rising up the leadership ladder.
6. You will encourage sound ethics.
when a precedent is set in the workplace, it becomes easier to develop and enhance values such as honesty, the importance of meeting deadlines, and personal integrity.
7. You will help build a positive work environment.
positive work environments are built on accountability, honesty, a growth mindset, equity, safety, and integrity. In such as environment, it is easy to solve challenges, and employees can maximize their skills which helps drive the organization forward.
8. It will boost your Chance of Promotion
When you become a good role model in your team, it greatly increases your chances of promotion. When integrity is your distinguishing attribute, direct reports are likely to recommend team members for leadership opportunities.
How to Achieve Leadership Integrity?
Good leaders practice integrity on a daily basis by matching words with actions and upholding ethical values. This is essential for earning trust and a critical element in any workplace. Here are 9- ways to achieve leadership integrity.
1. Develop a Good Reputation
Always remember that your reputation precedes you. Once people know that you like cutting corners or that honesty is not your strongest point, they will likely take what you promise or say with a pinch of salt. To develop a good reputation: do as you say, accept responsibility, never lie, be honest, avoid promises you cannot deliver, and find out from trusted colleagues what your reputation is - if they think you need to work on it, change course immediately.
2. Be a Role Model
A role model act as an example to the rest. By deliberately opting to be a role model, you place yourself on a pedestal, and this causes you to adapt to behaviors that you want to be emulated. For effectiveness, match your words with actions.
3. Strive to be an Ethical Leader
An Ethical leader demonstrates appropriate and thoughtful behavior(moral and virtuous) at all times - inside and outside the workplace. This must be a conscious decision built on the following traits: transparency, integrity, respect, fairness, and honesty.
4. Great leaders honor Commitments
By fulfilling commitments to others, you create a good rapport. One great way of honoring commitments in the workplace is delivering as per expectations. For example, don't violate set deadlines with your direct reports. Don't commit when in doubt; it is better to say No from the onset rather than fail to honor obligations.
5. Practice Self-awareness
Self-awareness plays a big role in building integrity. We can refine our behavior better by examining who we are and why we act the way we do.
Self-awareness also facilitates compassion and empathy, two important traits in leadership. One of the best ways of improving self-awareness is enrolling in Executive coaching for leadership development programs.
6. Practice Consistency
As with any new commitment to new behavior, it is important to practice consistency. If you have shortcomings with integrity, you can always practice living by its ideals. This is particularly important for a leader looking to build trust.
7. Go for More Training
Although practicing integrity is an individual responsibility, this vital leadership skill can be enhanced by taking advantage of training opportunities such as executive coaching. Don't shy away from seeking help, especially if this is in an area you struggle with. Outside support in executive coaching will go a long way in impacting this vital skill.
8. Show Vulnerability
Great leaders often show vulnerability. This makes them human and more relatable. When you show your employees that you are vulnerable, they are like to empathize with you. It is important to state that vulnerability is not a weakness but a foundation for honest leadership.
9. Practice Transparency
In a world where transparency is a rare commodity, deploying it effectively enhances ethics and integrity. Transparency is the right thing to do if you want your team to be abreast with the latest happenings. Research shows that employees value transparency in the workplace, and organizations promoting this are likely to witness greater job engagement - up to 76%.
How Highrise Can Help
At Highrise, we understand that integrity is one of the important traits of great leaders. We also know how to teach integrity to leaders and employees looking to earn trust in their teams or be better leaders.
If this is your goal and you want to learn more about practicing integrity and being accountable, reach out to us for a solution on how to be a good leader in your organization.