Integrity, or honesty and moral uprightness, is a critical leadership quality. Quite possibly, it’s the most essential trait to have when influencing and directing. A leader’s words, actions, and decisions establish the foundation for the organization’s values and culture. Additionally, honesty is a vital pillar of leadership’s trustworthiness. Integrity lays the groundwork for good decision-making, establishes character, provides consistency across the organization, and develops diversity, inclusion, and equality.
Integrity: A Two-Part Definition
We often describe Integrity as “walking the talk.” Additionally, you can express integrity in two other ways.
1. Integrity is the adherence to a moral or ethical principle.
Moral uprightness is not simply obeying rules but accepting and acting on an understanding of why a rule or principle exists.
2. Integrity is the pursuit of an undiminished state or condition.
Integrity is also having the strength of character to learn from behavioral errors, seeking continual self-improvement.
However it may be defined, integrity is conscious behavior. It is a decision each person makes every day. And for a leader of a team or enterprise, honesty is generally seen through continuity between the leader’s actions and words. And honesty will build your effectiveness in the workplace.
Integrity and Effectiveness
A leader’s moral uprightness establishes an essential factor in their effectiveness.
- Lays the groundwork for making good decisions
- Unites the different aspects of a person into a whole
- Provides consistency in personality, leading to coherence in decision making
- Establishes the foundation of character
- Holds the key factors that followers want from their leader
- Develops diversity, inclusion, and equality
In addition, there are various benefits of integrity as a leader.
4 Benefits of Integrity for a Leader
1. Integrity builds trust
Leadership is a role of influence, not of power. And most often, people are willing to be influenced by someone they trust. Honesty builds that confidence.
2. Integrity sets high standards
Leaders must hold their organizations to high standards, holding themselves to even more substantial ones. This type of benchmark demands accountability and causes growth.
3. Integrity builds a solid reputation, not just an image
A leader’s reputation will precede them wherever they are. Without a reputation of integrity, a leader is disadvantaged from the outset of any new undertaking or position.
4. Integrity makes a leader credible
Trust in a leader is vastly dependent on their credibility. Without the confidence of followers, a leader is considerably limited. Moreover, credibility causes cohesiveness among the team.
Moral uprightness lays the foundation for effectiveness, and there are also benefits of walking in honesty as a leader. But how do you create a workplace culture that values integrity?
3 Ways to Create a Workplace Culture that Values Integrity
1. Lead by example
As a leader, you’re an impactful role model and one that the entire team is watching. By committing to sound principles, you’ll build the trust of your employees.
2. Make the organization’s ethics code personal to you
You can’t copy or outsource honesty. Your team should build your code of ethics, especially your leadership. Additionally, everyone should have buy-in.
3. Consistency is key
Integrity will become the backbone of your organization when practiced over time, growing into who your business is.
Integrity is a critical leadership quality. Moral uprightness builds effectiveness, trust, credibility, a solid reputation and sets high standards. And when your actions line up with your words, you’ll create a workplace culture that genuinely values integrity. Here at Belfield, our team has over 170 years of cumulative experience. As a result, we can help you establish integrity and lay the foundation for a robust and cohesive work culture that grows and achieves more. Experience the Belfield difference!