Integrity is everything. No matter how educated, successful, rich, or cool you think you are, how you treat people tells a lot about you.
Being a leader is a privilege and a responsibility. Followers look up to you and trust you to lead the way. If you are a leader your followers want to know you will be honest, and always have their best interest in mind. They want to feel confident that you will go to battle for them no matter what.
When you lead with integrity you make treating people with kindness your top priority. You will seek to understand and want to help them. Too often leaders are quick to judge. They blame, make assumptions, and criticize. If you are a leader who is reactionary, I want to encourage you to take a pause. Consider your mindset and the emotions that are driving your behaviors.
Having integrity means that you are honest and build trusting relationships.
Your actions are consistent, and you live and lead authentically. If you have integrity, you will always do the right thing and make decisions that are in the best interest of others. If you are leading with a negative mindset or from heightened emotions your behaviors will be inconsistent. Your decisions will be in your own self-interest rather than those you lead.
Leadership is about influence and setting the example. If you are in a leadership position, take a pause daily to reflect on your emotions, behaviors, and decisions. Are you consistent? Do you overreact because you are emotionally charged or feel under pressure? Are you acting in ways that encourage the trust of your followers? Will they believe you have their best interest in mind? When you lead with integrity and kindness your character will never be in question.
Here are a few questions for reflection to determine if you are leading with integrity:
- Are you honest, trustworthy, and reliable?
- Do you practice what you preach?
- Are you able to admit your mistakes rather than blaming others or making excuses?
Do you support your people, even under pressure?
It is easy to fall back on your ego when you are under pressure. Become aware of your behaviors and keep your ego in check.
Do you help others simply to help them expecting nothing in return?
Being a leader who has integrity means doing the right thing because it is the right thing to do.
Do you treat all people in your organization with respect no matter what role they play?
Having integrity means you acknowledge the contribution of everyone regardless of their position or title.
Do you surround yourself with others who push you to be better?
Engaging with a variety of people who challenge your ideas will help you to grow. They will also be more likely to support you through difficult times.
Leadership is a privilege and a responsibility. You must always be reflecting on your emotions, behaviors, and decisions to ensure you are building confidence and trust in your followers.
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