5 Pillars to Help Young Leaders Build Integrity
Warren Buffet, Berkshire Hathaway’s boss and investment mogul said; “In looking for people to hire, look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence, and energy. And if they don’t have the first one, the other two will kill you.” This categorically means that nothing supercede integrity.
From Wikipedia, “Integrity is the qualifications of being honest and having strong moral principles and moral uprightness.” It goes further to state that integrity in ethics, is regarded by many as the honesty and truthfulness or accuracy of one’s actions. Integrity can stand in opposition to hypocrisy.
Integrity defines a leader. In order to be a good leader, it is important to act with Integrity. Success is earned, not bestowed. You have to build yourself up and get people to respect you. They won’t respect you if they don’t trust you. And if they don’t trust you, you’re in for the long haul. Successful leaders embodies integrity. That is a pointer towards their success.
In a leadership position, integrity manifests itself in the way a leader speaks, guides and reacts to team members. Your manner of communication tells a lot about your personality. You have to check yourself and your communication. Leading with integrity requires developing self-awareness, good moral and mental conduct. How then can a leader lead with integrity? Here are five pillars to guide you:
keep to your word
If your word doesn’t say what you mean, you will lose it. Establishing integrity means that your word at all time must be rock solid. You have to mean what you say and equally say what you mean. This is a basic requirement. If you are not sure about a thing or a request, don’t give your word. Think before you makes your personal guarantees. Never ever promise what you cannot deliver. If at the same time you made a promise or guaranteed something but couldn’t deliver on it, apologize for it. Let the person(s) involve know that you tried but it didn’t work out. In the end, let your yes be yes and your no be no.
Open up yourself to employees, friends, underlings etc., it builds trust and respect. Sometimes the need to get ahead may slant our personality to others. Being too professional can be very boring sometimes and people might not get to enjoy you. Be who you are and accept others as they are. The authenticity of connecting personality, beliefs and point of view can accelerate relationships. It’s easy to create a false persona, yet, building on the foundations of good leadership, helps to foster greater respect and trust.
Align your work with your values
You can’t go out of your principles otherwise you will regret every aspect of your life. No matter the circumstance, your values are your values. You should never compromise your values. It is pertinent to always reassess your values because your values are primary compared to the values others display around you. Realize that whatever you believe in, becomes you.
Downsize your ego
Gerald D. Edwards writes; “It is natural to let our egos guide our business decisions. After all, as entrepreneurs, we spend years fueling and feeding our egos with each storm we weather and each setback we overcome. You count your exploits and realize that your business has survived and flourished because of you: your hard work, your intelligence, your powerful skills of negotiation, and your acute business acumen. Then one day you awaken to the realization that you have survived first by the grace of God almighty,and second with the help of talented, dedicated employees. You need to downsize your ego.”
As entrepreneurs, staying focused can be tough knowing that a lot is required to get things done. Our brains are wired for distraction and this 21st century age adds so much to the distractions. Practice concentration by turning off all distractions and committing your attention to a single task. You have to build the muscle to be focused.