Why Does Integrity Even Matter?

Jan 29, 2016 1 Min Read
Integrity is the Seed that Grows into Trust
“Trust is the glue of life. It’s the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It’s the foundational principle that holds all relationships.” – Stephen Covey

Leaders spend years developing specific skills to win people over – charisma, eloquence, wit, intellect. They spend years becoming experts in one or more areas. In the blurry of achieving and conquering goal after goal, it’s easy to overlook core values that lay out the foundation for success and longevity in one’s career. Encoded in the DNA of every effective leader is integrity. Integrity is defined as: “Adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty.” Integrity is the seed that grows into trust. Imagine the uneasiness you feel around someone who has broken your trust. It makes your skin crawl; you cannot wait to withdraw from them and retreat.

Author, chief executive officer, chief information officer, chief technologist, product manager and consultant Enrique Fiallo said, based on his extensive experience, “There are many things you can lack and still steer clear of danger. Integrity isn’t one of them. Establish a set of sound ethics policies, integrate them into all business processes, communicate them broadly to all employees, and make clear that you will not tolerate any deviation from any of them. Then live by them…”

Character over reputation

Leaders with integrity are primarily concerned about the quality of their character than their reputation. Your reputation is merely who others think you are, but character is who you really are, and people can often intuitively tell when you’re hiding behind a veil of inauthenticity. University researchers Robert Moorman and Steven Grover investigated the core reason integrity was pivotal to effective leadership. Their findings were published in the International Journal of Leadership StudiesThey postulated that leader integrity matters to followers because of the information it communicates to followers that may help them reconcile the inherent uncertainty of follower decision-making.

Integrity makes followers feel comfortable and safe when trying to predict outcomes of trusting a particular leader. It is part of any follower’s survival instinct, especially when faced with uncertainty. As humans have formed complex hierarchies that are often multi-directional, leaders are sometimes followers and vice versa. Hence, integrity is so crucial to function and thrive within any niche or organisation.

Read More: How to Increase Your Corporate Agility

Questions to ponder

Building integrity is simple although not easy. Asking yourself these five questions could be a good start to engage the mindset of integrity leadership.
1. Do I keep my word and my promises?
2. Do I maintain honest communication with others?
3. Do I keep my environment organised?
4. Do I make myself accountable?
5. Do I keep the right company?
As a leader, it is important to be mindful of these questions. By addressing them, you will see your integrity continue to grow and affect progress around you.

Find out the video below to know more about the learning platform that curates personalised learning just for you

Do you desire to accelerate your growth? Look no further. Necole is a state of the art learning platform that curates personalised learning just for you. To find out more about Necole, click here or email info@leaderonomics.com.

Share This


Tags: Be A Leader

Louisa was formerly an editorial associate and freelance writer with Leaderonomics. An extrovert who loves the outdoors; she thinks change is exciting and should be embraced.

You May Also Like

A woman stressed/burnout from work

Breaking Down Quiet Quitting In The Workplace

By Sashe Kanapathi. Quiet quitting has become somewhat of a buzzword in the industry as of late. Is it a bad thing? What should managers do about it?

Jan 25, 2023 9 Min Read


Football and Leadership: The Special One

What Happened To Mourinho? In the inaugural episode of football and leadership, Roshan Thiran revisits his article back in 2013 when Jose Mourinho was arguably one of the best football managers around. Fast forward to 2019, and he has been sacked from his last two managerial positions. What happened to Mourinho? Watch the corresponding video to Roshan’s article in 2013.

Mar 15, 2019 23 Min Podcast

Lady smiling

Parents, Separate Tech Time and Screen Time

Randi Zuckerberg, founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of Zuckerberg Media and a former Facebook leader in the early years of digital marketing

May 25, 2017 25 Min Video

Be a Leader's Digest Reader