Trending Topic in Leadership: Integrity

Being a trusted leader depends on your reliability. No one wants a leader that lacks credibility or consistency. In essence, integrity is one of the most vital qualities of any successful leader. Kouzes and Posner found in their research of thousands of leaders that integrity was the most cited essential leadership trait. Integrity manifests itself in consistency, genuineness, honesty, morality, and trustworthiness.

Integrity has been a topic recently in major news headlines, with the downfall of NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams. Williams’s altruism and virtuousness made him a beloved media leader in the eyes of the American people. People responded to his perceived integrity. Unfortunately, the integrity that it takes years to build can be lost in the matter of seconds. Humans are unforgiving of perceived duplicity or dishonesty. Once Williams’ integrity was compromised, so was his value as a leader.

Authenticity and honesty are key leadership capacities of any leader, but integrity will lead others to go the extra mile. These leaders show no pretense when working with others, and never hesitate to take responsibility for their own feelings and actions. No matter what your profession is integrity is perhaps the most important factor in building and maintaining strong social networks. Integrity is the cornerstone for leaders who hope to have long-lasting, unwavering success.

Displaying heartfelt integrity can be contagious. It can even have a domino effect. Make a conscious effort to bring more integrity to your leadership and you might find it instilled in others. Your teams will become stronger, bonded with a greater sense of trust. We definitely need more leaders that display integrity but remember that integrity isn’t built overnight.