You need courage to have integrity!



“Adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty”

Why do you need to have integrity as a leader?

It is claimed that leaders need integrity in order to function effectively. Integrity is seen as a positive attribute. When it is said that person “has integrity” it is a compliment, meaning honesty and strong character. Integrity derives from the Latin root “integer” meaning whole, or complete therefore combination of the two terms: leading completely (Suggs, 2007).

Do you have integrity as a leader? If you want build your own integrity try some of these tips:

  • Reflect on your decisions and ask the question – have I thought about the moral aspect of my decision?
  • Look at your own professionalism – are you on time, do you meet deadlines, do you pass on blame to others. Be self-critical and identify areas you can change!
  • Be honest with your boss – if you can’t do something, say so – find opportunities to develop and improve.
  • Set your own high standards and stick to them. Others don’t always follow positive behaviour – but many more will copy poor behaviour!
  • Be honest with your team – be candid and truthful! Help your team develop through effective objectives and feedback.
  • Don’t get involved in gossip and negative talk at work (or anywhere) – you will come across as negative and untrustworthy.
  • Listen to people and respect their opinions! By all means disagree and discuss, but do it with open ears!

If you believe you have integrity as a leader – how do you measure it? Comments always welcome


  1. Ibukun says

    Andy, another good one from you! I tend to evaluate myself largely against the different yardsticks you’ve posted here. My ethos is ‘If I can’t say it to your face then I won’t say it behind your back; if I can’t account for something, then I won’t ask someone else to do it and, finally, I tend to treat everyone else the way I want to be treated. I don’t want to be a millionaire in cash but penniless of morals.

  2. Mensima says

    I evaluate it by the degrees to which ‘wanting’ to have integrity in all aspects of my leadership, is replaced by actual achievement in building (piece by piece) on the stronger aspects of my character as i eliminate weaker aspects that need working on. It helps to develop awareness of where, when and how prone I might be to slipping off the rails in particular areas of my leadership, and how much better i manage a similar situation that arises in the future. I share my growth with other learning leaders, thereby supporting each other to be more and more courageous in our claims to possessing integrity as leaders.

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