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Integrity and what it really means for leaders

Learn why integrity is critical for leaders of today and discover the 4 simple steps to score highly on the integrity curve.

Do you have a colleague at work that you know you can always count on? They are the person who says they will do something and then always follows through in a timely fashion. You can trust them, and you know full well that they never make a promise they can’t keep.

Many leaders are very good at ‘talking the talk’. But there are a few who always, without fail, do what they say they will. If a leader does not follow through on their commitments, then it invites others in the team to do the same. It can be a slippery slope from there, as accountability and responsibility become mere catch phrases.

A few years ago, I met the CEO of a growing entertainment business. I came away thoroughly impressed – she had built a great business which was growing rapidly. Smart and engaging, you couldn’t help but think that the business would continue to thrive under her leadership.

You can’t have trust without being trustworthy – Dr Stephen Covey

However, in the weeks that followed, I began to see that my initial impression missed something critical. She lacked integrity. She made a number of commitments at that meeting and didn’t follow through on any of them. Later, I met with one of her previous customers who shared similar frustrations. In the years that followed the business faltered.

Think of the leaders in your organisation. How do they rate on the integrity scale? How about you? Do you mean what you say and say what you mean consistently? Can people rely on you to follow through on what you say you will do? High integrity is rare in today’s business world, but it is certainly something that people greatly appreciate and admire.

4 key things you can do to make sure you demonstrate high integrity on a daily basis:

  1. Never make a promise you can’t keep.
  2. Always under promise and over deliver (and not the other way around. Your team and customers will appreciate it).
  3. Be honest – with yourself and others around you.
  4. Be on time – it shows that you value someone else’s time.

Remember: “You can’t talk your way out of a problem you behaved yourself into.” Integrity is a shining light in a world of empty promises. Make a decision today to show integrity in everything you do and the rewards will follow.

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