The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionably integrity. Without it, no real success is possible no matter whether it is on a section gang, a football field, in an army or in an office.
-Dwight David Eisenhower
Several weeks back, I wrote a post on integrity (The Integrity Test). I wanted to follow it up with some observations taken from Stephen Covey's The 8th Habit which gave me additional perspective that I wanted to share with you.
I think it's safe to say that we all desire to work with people of integrity. It is also safe to say that 60-70% of the workforce who has been employed for at least five years can identify at least one situation they have witnessed in the workplace in which someone (probably a manager or leader) has not demonstrated integrity and for which there was no repercussion. It is worth noting that in a survey of over 54,000 people asked to identify the essential qualities of a leader, integrity was by far, the number one response.
I realized in reading The 8th Habit that this issue of integrity (or lack of it) really boils down to a failure of character. And, according to Stephen Covey, 90 percent of all leadership failures are character failures.
Where leaders lack character, trust cannot grow and trust is the key ingredient to all relationships be they business or personal. So if you want to make a difference as a leader in your organization and in your life, practice integrity. Keep your word. Only make promises you can keep. Don't do anything in private that you wouldn't want made public. If you make a mistake, come clean.
One man cannot do right in one department of
life whilst he is occupied in doing wrong in any
other department. Life is one indivisible whole.
– Mahatma Gandhi
We are all human beings and sometimes life gets in the way of who we want to be. Begin with yourself and notice the domino affect it has on those around you. It isn't about being perfect, it's about being the best you can be.
You were born to be great.
YES, you can!