The Leader’s Integrity Is Critical For Success
Recently, I was explaining Foreword’s Momentum Methodology. One of the critical components we chose to include in our methodology is integrity. I was asked, “Isn’t integrity kind of a given?” My response was that integrity is such a key characteristic for success or failure that you can’t assume it’s present in all leaders.
What Is Leadership Integrity?
One way to explain leadership integrity is by drawing upon a close analog in the engineering world: structural integrity. Structural integrity refers to the ability of a structure to resist internal and external forces without undergoing excessive deformation, damage, or failure. It’s a measure of the structure’s ability to perform its intended function safely and reliably over its designed lifespan. In simple terms, structural integrity is when a structure does what it’s supposed to do. When a bridge carries cars across a river span, you could say the bridge is demonstrating integrity.
Build a Strong Foundation
Leadership integrity is foundational for success as a leader. It’s one of the most important traits you can possess. It’s the foundation upon which successful leadership is built, and without it, even the most skilled leader will ultimately fail. Integrity means doing the right thing, even when it’s difficult or unpopular. Essentially, resisting internal and external forces without experiencing failure… like structural integrity, except the forces may be less obvious and creep in over time. It means being honest, transparent, and accountable in all your actions and decisions. It means standing up for what’s right, even if it means going against the status quo. These things are not easy to do unless you design and embrace integrity into your leadership stance.
In future articles, I will continue to explore the similarities between leadership integrity and structural integrity, including integrity failures, ethical behavior, accountability, and ongoing maintenance. In the meantime, consider asking yourself the following questions about your leadership integrity:
What can you do to resist the forces that make doing the right thing a challenge?
What is your foundation of integrity built upon?
What issues are you struggling with where you need to demonstrate leadership integrity?
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