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Integrity matters in leadership, having an integrated body, mind and spirit.  There's congruency.  Your actions match your words, which reflects who you truly are.  

 

Saying one thing and doing another is not integrity.  Having the same set of operating instructions, the same code of ethics, rules and guidelines no matter where you are or what you are doing is about being in integrity.  Having one set of rules for you and another set for everyone else is not. 

 

A brilliant test for integrity is The Foxhole Test:  Would I want to be in a foxhole with you?  It's all about trust, trusting someone to have your back. How well do you fair with this test?

 

Integrity is about taking responsibility for our actions as they happen, no matter if anyone is looking or not, not waiting to get caught.  It's about minimizing the fallout of our mistakes, being proactive and learning from what we've done so we don't repeat them.

 

Our people will respect us; we will gain their loyalty and trust if we promptly admit to doing something wrong and accept responsibility for the consequences of our action, role modeling what we want to see in them.

 

It's not about being right or wrong.  It's about being honest and accountable.  It's about telling our people what they need to hear with tact and kindness, not necessarily what they want to hear.

 

We, all of us, have an amazing capacity to come together in times of economic crisis and personal loss.  We can handle the truth, especially when our leaders instill hope and walk along side of us each step of the way.   An amazing example is Winston Churchill.  The first thing Churchill did as prime minister was to instill hope in the people of England!

 

When our people, our teams, divisions, colleagues, staff, know that we care about them, they feel safe, secure and protected.  We set the tone and direction of those ones under your charge.  Being in integrity, being honest and forthright lays the foundation for a culture that values the same. 

 

It's not magic.  People follow you as the leader.   Take the privilege of being a leader to heart; watch the pulse of your integrity, keep holding the bar high, and continue to lead by example.

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