Leadership of Integrity
Moving from aspiration to practice | By: Kristen Haldeman | March 3, 2019
We don’t have to be perfect, just engaged and committed to aligning values with action. - Brene Brown
Without the walking of the walk, the talking of the talk evolves into white noise. The observer dismisses anything the talker says with indifference or disgust. Imagine the family that establishes respect as a household value and the father and mother daily engage in yelling contests. The children observe this behavior and model after it.
Leadership is not about entirely about receiving the accolades for well accomplished work. It is not entirely about innovation and authority. At the base level, leadership is about integrity: does the walk exemplify the talk.
According to a survey by Robert Half Management Resources, 75% of workers and 46% of CEOs responded that leadership is the most important attribute in a corporate leader. The conclusion of this study offered three managerial practices, the first being to set the right example.
Imagine the family that establishes respect as a household value and the father and mother calmly converse about their differences. The children observe this behavior and model after it.
The discomfort emerges when upholding the established values requires difficult conversations and venturing into the unknown. Upholding respect may result in mediating between two employees who compete in unhealthy comparison. Upholding innovation may require letting the team use their ideas instead of your own. However, the discomfort can be replaced by confidence if integrity is already practiced. Arriving to work on time is a small yet significant way to begin demonstrating integrity. Taking out the trash once a week as promised is a small yet significant integrity practice. Handling the more intimidating tasks, like upholding respect and innovation, will seem less daunting because the habit of integrity has been accumulating through previous small, significant practices.
Integrity and leadership cannot be divorced, even if it means getting some coal burns on your feet.