Every leader intends to lead themselves and their organization with integrity. I have never once had a leader who struggled with integrity and was anything less than heartbroken at the turn of events. So, how does a leader with such great intentions fall in the area of integrity?
Your Integrity Will be Tested
Integrity is when what you think, say, and do are all in alignment. They are integrated. As a leader, you can expect your commitment to leading with integrity to be tested in four areas: money, freedom, recognition, and pleasure.
In his book, LeaderShift, John Maxwell shares the need for leaders to shift from perks to price. Some perks may come your way as a leader in money, recognition, and freedom. Allowing yourself to be enticed by these perks can quickly derail the integrity important to establishing the trust needed for effective leadership.
High-integrity leaders embrace the price of leadership and recognize it as a high calling. They know that to be effective, they will need to put other people first, show the way, be an example, and do the hard things. And not for just a little while. You need to keep doing these things consistently over time.
Developing and Living Out Your Integrity
A leader who is consistent in their behaviors and emotions can gain the trust of their team. Followers love leaders with integrity and leaders they can trust. To develop and live out your integrity, focus on the consistency of what you think, say, and do. Consistency provides:
- Security for others. People know where you stand and depend on you; this is the highest compliment you can receive as a leader.
- A foundation for your reputation. The people you lead are always watching you. When you deliver consistently, time after time, it helps you influence people, and it sets the tone for your team. People do what they see.
- A way for you to stay in the leadership game. You never have to get back “into the swing of things.”
- A compounding effect. The reality is that none of these things feel amazing—practicing, studying, showing up, working hard, asking questions, changing, trying, failing, and trying again—but they compound daily to reveal the high-integrity leader you have become.
About Perry Holley
Perry Holley is a coach and facilitator with Maxwell Leadership, as well as a published author. As co-host of the Maxwell Leadership Executive Leadership Podcast, he has a passion for developing others and seeing people grow into the leaders they were intended to become.
Subscribe to our Executive Leadership Podcast!
By subscribing to our podcast, you can hear hosts Perry Holley and Chris Goede discuss this topic and many more – from executive leadership coaching and professional development tips to ways to create a leadership culture of success within your organization.
Looking for more ways to develop as a leader or develop the leaders in your organization?
At Maxwell Leadership, we believe leadership shouldn’t be a solo mission. Great leaders work among their people, not above their people. Our leadership experts can help you build a team of strong leaders around you, creating better performance for the whole organization. Learn more about our solutions, including executive coaching and leadership development programs and assessments tailored to your organization’s needs.