“The reputation of a thousand years may be determined by the conduct of an hour”
Integrity is the core leadership attribute to sustain a positive organizational environment. The root of leadership reputation lies with the level of integrity practised in a certain leadership domain. Conversely, a simple odd choice against integrity can melt down the lifelong reputation of a leader within no time. People with integrity are found bold yet humble, and they own a strong sense of self-esteem. They possess a very high degree of self-image and are found confident. This attribute acts as definite filtration aid since leaders have to pass through intense mental pressure to find the best option among many wrong choices on critical issues. Integrity is behaviour and is mostly imbued in human habits. To attain this quality, a leader must make a conscious choice of always standing for the truth and justice. A good leader inspires his men with strong moral, ethical, and value-based standing no matter how difficult the context. They abstain from making false promises or taking shortcuts. Leaders’ integrity works as the spirit of motivation to their men, therefore a leader needs to be carefully critical of his every emotion, word, and step. A military commander must be especially careful to his every action and must not allow any grey area where his man may have little questions about his integrity.
What is integrity?
Leadership integrity means a complete, unflinching honesty concerning all that a leader speaks and how he acts. The level of integrity determines how honest a person is in the critical areas of his comforts and benefits. Integrity means one lives by his deepest values. Integrity is always acting right, even when no one is looking or when the choices are not very easy. It means when anyone asks you at the end of your work, “Did you do your best?” you can look at his eyes and say in a bold voice, “Yes.” Integrity means when someone enquires, “If you might have done it better” you can confidently say, “No, I did everything at my best.” Integrity may be the most challenging attribute in leadership qualities because it also demands a leader to admit his shortcomings. It means that you pursue to grow your strengths and transform to win your limitations. Integrity means you tell the truth and mean it through your every action. It means that you deal candidly with yourself, your men, and situations. Integrity means that you do not compromise what you consider to be fair and correct.
How to hold integrity in character?
- Define your leadership principles and learn to be assertive. At the critics, defend yourself in an ethical position from a mature point of view. Accept responsibilities for your words and admit your own limitations.
- Avoid white lies. They may seem harmless, but tiny lies still lie. Always stand for the truth and make a habit of standing for justice. Set your working environment free from improper practices (wrong way of doing things) however necessary that may be. A small ill encourages more ills, and it goes beyond manageable dimension with time. Stop all forms of ill practices even a petite one.
- Make a mental habit of taking responsibility for your own actions and the actions of your men. No one is perfect in this world so, if you make a mistake, accept the blame immediately and do whatever is necessary to correct it.
- Always uphold your own commitment and do not make false promises to people. Try to be a little conservative and composed while making some promises to others.
- In times of fear, disaster, and chaos, the temptation is even higher to make a wrong choice and act against honesty. Use these opportunities to demonstrate a high level of integrity in front of your men.
- Try to build integrity as a habit in character and an innate attribute in you. Avoid seeming complacent when you are acting with integrity but stay humble and kind. The strength of your integrity will determine the stability of your leadership climate and provide a deep sense of joy in life. However, it will often cost you.
Integrity means when anyone asks you at the end of your work, “Did you do your best?” you can look at his eyes and say in a bold voice, “Yes.” Integrity means when someone enquires, “If you might have done it better” you can confidently say, “No, I did everything at my best.”