We’ve seen way too many key leaders in a variety of sectors “fall from the top” because of poor moral or ethical choices. Yet somehow we find ourselves surprised each time. The reality is that it shouldn’t be surprising if we’re actually watching how they live and lead.
Integrity is a value that organizations and individuals often proclaim, but struggle to uphold. If you want to become a leader who people trust through thick and thin, guarding your integrity must be a high priority.
Consider the following three ways to improve or operate with integrity more consistently:
1 – Define and Know Your Values
Many leaders don’t live out their values because they don’t know what they are. Organizations often make their core values public and evident to both their employees and customers. People rarely do the same. I believe it’s a simple oversight that has significant ramifications. I encourage you to invest time listing and defining what your core values are so you can intentionally live up to them. If you struggle with this exercise, ask someone close to you to share the values they see you living out. If you’re not living out what you want to portray, define at least one aspirational value to work toward displaying. This will help you raise your own bar toward excellence.
2 – Communicate With Words, Demonstrate With Actions
We’ve all been around people who say one thing, but do another. The problem with this in leadership is that someone is always watching and followers do what they see. You can’t expect them to live up to a standard that you refuse to model. Be bold and share your personal core values with your followers and ask them to tell you when you let them slide. This provides credibility and a stellar example to them. Encourage them to define their own values, share them with you and their peers, then live them out daily.
3 – Advance Your Reputation With Credibility
It’s often said that your reputation precedes you. This is very true. Just think of how you think about certain people before you ever meet them. Their reputation is either good or bad in your mind because of what others have said about them in advance. When you guard your integrity by defining and living out your values, your reputation will be aligned with how you want people to perceive you. As you intentionally act based on your values, your credibility and reputation will improve.
Integrity is too important to leave to chance. You must prioritize each day to develop and guard it.
Imagine having clarity on your personal values and holding yourself to a higher standard than most others around you.
Imagine living out and demonstrating your values each day as you live, work, and play.
Imagine walking into business meetings and social engagements with people looking favorably on you before you ever arrive.
This can be your reality when you do the deep inner work of knowing and living out your core values.
In my new book, The Magnetic Leader: 18 Essential Actions of Leaders People Love to Follow, I go much deeper into Essential Action #17 – Guards Integrity. CLICK HERE to learn more and to purchase your copy today!
Until next time…make today GREAT!