“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 practiced in a particular 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 bold yet humble, and they have 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 behavior 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 must be carefully conscious of 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 growing your strengths and transforming to win your limitations. Integrity means you tell the truth and practice it through your every action. It means that you deal candidly with yourself, your men, and situations abiding by the principles. Integrity means that you do not compromise what you consider 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 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 (even the wrong way of doing the right things), whatever necessary that may be. A small ill encourages more ills and goes beyond manageable dimensions with time. Stop all forms of ill practices, even the most petite ones.
- Make a mental habit of taking responsibility for your 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 commitment and do not make false promises to people. Try to be a bit conservative and composed while making some promises to others.
- In times of fear, disaster, and chaos, the temptation to make a wrong choice and act against honesty is even higher. Use these opportunities to demonstrate a high level of integrity in front of your men.
- Build integrity as your habit; avoid seeming complacent when 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.”