Having leaders that operate with integrity is one of the cornerstones to a productive and healthy workplace setting. Integrity in leadership entails being truthful, dependable, and trustworthy. Leaders with integrity live up to their words – doing what they say- and own their faults rather than concealing them, blaming their team, or trying to make excuses.
Following corporate policies, utilizing organization time and resources responsibly, and respecting coworkers and direct reports are all examples of integrity. It’s crucial to keep in mind that a leader’s actions reflect not just on themselves but also the company’s reputation.
In a survey of over 3,000 chief financial officers and employees conducted in 2016 by Forbes, integrity was cited as the most critical trait in a leader by both categories. According to Forbes, other leadership attributes such as decisiveness, fairness, and stability were ranked lower than integrity. Employees ranked integrity as the most critical trait at 75%, while chief financial officers(CFOs) ranked integrity as the most important attribute at 46%.
So, if you would like to be a good leader in your organization, ask yourself the following questions to measure your level of integrity:
- Do I hold myself responsible for my actions and decisions?
- Am I a good role model for my direct reports?
- Do I often keep my promises and follow through on my commitments?
- Do I bear the responsibility for my errors?
- Do I behave in a way that fosters trust among my subordinates?
When top management establishes what integrity looks like in their company, they ought to stress and highlight it at all times. Executive leaders, as well as leaders at all levels of the organization, ought to demonstrate and then actively, publicly strengthen integrity for everyone in the company.
Nevertheless, executive leaders must promote adherence, ethical behavior, and accountability because they are the most visible and prominent members of the company and have the potential to trigger the most incredible reputational damage.
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Why Every Leader Must Lead With Integrity
It Establishes A Gateway For Inspiration And Trust
Leaders having integrity often do a better job of garnering their colleagues’ trust and motivating them to do better work. Dr. Christopher Bauer, a fraud expert and ethical writer, believes that integrity is most important at the top of any firm. To develop a culture that appreciates integrity, leaders must model and actively strengthen integrity for everyone in the organization. According to a recent LearnLoft article, you risk damaging the overall organizational culture if you don’t practice this attribute. Terrible leaders might lose sight of the significance of their words and say things that aren’t true or make promises that aren’t kept, which can wreak havoc on morale and business culture.
Commitment To Success
As a leader, practicing integrity implies a dedication to success. This allows you, on a personal level, to hold yourself answerable not only to superiors but also to coworkers and employees. This candor and sincerity can help you figure out what you can improve on and correct mistakes you wouldn’t have noticed otherwise. On a corporate level, having integrity lets you direct your team toward the organization’s vision, and goals as your sense of right and wrong will lead you there.
Integrity in management has the most obvious benefit of establishing credibility with customers, clients, skilled professionals, and investors. Integrity in operations ensures that required reports are filed correctly and on time and that organizational obligations are fulfilled.
Prepare You For The Challenges That Lie Ahead.
Finally, being unafraid of hard or uncomfortable realities is a sign of integrity. It lets you see the universe as it is, rather than as you want it to be, a quality great leaders possess. This unwillingness to cheat or compromise will provide you with the courage to do the right thing and prevent you from deceiving your stakeholders and yourself.
According to Menlo Coaching, this integrity in getting feedback is critical because encouragement without criticism has never been helpful for progress. More often, leaders who lack integrity fail eventually as a result of their inability to examine themselves and consider how they can be incorrect.
Integrity brings numerous advantages to both leaders and companies. For example, a study has found that leadership with greater integrity leads to improved workplace performance. Besides this, leaders with integrity inspire greater trust and contentment in their subordinates, who are more highly likely to emulate them.
Employees who work for high-integrity leaders are more likely to engage in positive workplace behaviors (such as assisting others during busy moments) and less likely to engage in negative workplace behaviors. Furthermore, employees who believe their leaders are trustworthy are more motivated to work harder, achieve better, and show greater commitment to the organization.