Great team culture? Increased profit margin? Global expansion? A compelling vision? Are any of these the missing ingredient for significant leadership?
Reports don't look good for leaders worldwide. CNN released an article about CEOs who stepped down in 2019. CEO of Best Buy, Corie Barry (Best Buy CEO), was asked to step down due to an investigation into her conduct.
While having a great team culture, increased profit margin, or casting a compelling vision are each essential to leadership, there’s one necessary ingredient for significant leadership that must be a prerequisite.
The origin of integrity comes from the French word ‘integrite’, which means innocence and purity. Integrity also comes from the Latin that means wholeness or completeness. Only one Leader has been completely whole and pure (Follow the link here), but integrity is the necessary ingredient for significant leadership for three reasons.
Integrity is the timeless, necessary ingredient for leadership. We all have heard the nickname “Honest Abe” regarding our sixteenth President Abraham Lincoln. Why did he receive that nickname? One story has it that when “he was a young store clerk, whenever he shortchanged a customer - even by a few pennies, he would close up the store and walk to find the customer to return the change”. Would you go to such great lengths to protect your integrity? Your staff will appreciate your willingness to place their interests over your gain.
Integrity is what people need most in a leader. Sure, you may be able to deliver a compelling vision statement that transforms a company’s trajectory - but if you are stealing profits as your company increases revenue, your dishonesty will eventually be made known to the public and your staff. Your integrity may never make a viral YouTube video or receive thousands of social media shares, but integrity is what is needed most in leadership circles today.
Integrity is what will sustain your leadership tomorrow. Integrity and competence work together. Take time to develop your leadership skills, build a fantastic team around you, and even create an excellent team culture where your staff relishes their work experience. If you want to continue leading, develop your integrity by putting the needs of your staff and company above your own.
Do you know of a leader who had extraordinary integrity? Share about it below and share what lessons you learned from them.