Why Leadership Integrity Matters
Chester Goad, on the Huffington Post Blog, suggests that leadership integrity is that part of you people want to follow.
When you possess leadership integrity, people trust your decisions.
They understand you have a vision, and because of your positive influence, they take ownership in the plan, the process and the product.
Goad says “each year CEO’s are ousted, educational leaders fall to a no-confidence vote and political figures are booted at the ballot box.
Most always it is because they have unwittingly compromised their leadership integrity”.
3 Ways to undermine your leadership integrity
There are three common pitfalls to inadvertently undermine your leadership integrity;
1. Sowing Mistrust
Much like most things that affect human emotion, there are two approaches.
With trust, we either give it willingly until given a reason not to, or we don’t give it at all, until it’s earned.
Following the secondary principle, some leaders run in to trouble in terms of difficulty in forging effective relationships and building trust with others if a little trust and vulnerability isn’t displayed yourself.
Goad suggests that quite simply, people connect authenticity with vulnerability. “Leaders who are vulnerable and humanise themselves through humour even self-deprecating humour build relationships and trust.
At the same time, we build trust when we go out on a limb and trust team members with information, with a new assignment, –with something that matters.
Mistrust comes in many forms, and most often reveals itself through the menace of micromanagement. A leader who micromanages or data mines minutiae is actually sending the message that they don’t trust an employee to complete a task.
2. Modelling Inconsistency
A level of delegation is just part of leadership, it’s often smart and necessary, but the team needs to witness their leader working just as hard. According to Goad “one of the most damaging traits any leader can possess is inconsistency.
Inconsistency in our message, in our relationships or through perceived or purposeful favouritism is not only unprofessional but can emotionally sabotage your team”.
Consistency in relationships and work ethic goes a long way. Are you present? Absence does not make the heart grow fonder, it causes minds to wonder where you are and whether or not you care.
3. Weak Communication or Communication That is Not Concise
Goad says “if you want to gain or maintain respect, show strength and stand up for your team and behind your decisions unless of course, you find you’ve made a mistake and need to correct it.
Admitting fault is also strength.
Leaders possess confidence and candour, and leaders never throw people under the bus.”
Leaders who aren’t listening are not leading.
People care about character, so be mindful to ensure that leadership integrity is as pivotal in your leadership toolbox as intelligence and management skills.
Recommend further reading: 7 Traits of Successful Leaders
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