I thought I would start off the year with a subject that has been very close to my heart and a principle that I know will bless your relationships with your spouse, clients, employees, friends, colleagues and family, and help make you a more valuable leader. That principle is INTEGRITY.
Why integrity is so important
When leaders, from around the world, were interviewed and asked, “What they considered as the most valuable attribute for effective leadership?” 76% responded by saying, “Integrity.”
This is extremely interesting because surveys that are being conducted with organisations around the world found that the number one complaint by staff is that leaders do not walk the talk…or in other words, do not have integrity.
My firm belief as to why this might be the case is that leaders, like almost everyone, are not in control of their lives. Rather they are manipulated by circumstance and by whoever yields the greatest authority.
Integrity is the foundation of trust, and trust is the foundation of love. Trust keeps a marriage together. Trust keeps a client coming back. Trust keeps a friendship intact. Break the trust and you break the relationship. This, unfortunately, has become more of the norm now days. People making commitments, but not fulfilling them. Hence the complaint of “Not walking the talk.”
Leadership is not for the weak
I have always suggested that leadership is not for the faint of heart. Leaders are often required to make very tough decisions which do not always please the people they lead. These decisions, however, are often based on a greater awareness of the situation than those of whom they lead. Unfortunately, however, so many leaders would rather make the popular decisions which, in the short-term, are popular, but often have a very negative impact in the long-term.
Integrity requires conviction, forthrightness, boldness, humility, sincerity and courage. It is so easy for people to say “yes” but it is not easy for people to carry out what they have said “yes” to. “Yes” might make you popular initially, but the reputation one develops for saying yes and not delivering is one that is becoming more and more common.
Be in control
My challenge, therefore to all of us for the New Year is to become more aware of the “Yes’s” we make and be prepared to say “No” when we know that we are not in the position to deliver.
Keep a small notebook or record in your journal. Write down all the things you have said yes to doing, who it is for and by when it needs to be done. Then schedule time in your day or week (before the time it needs to be done) to do it.
Remember to take back control and responsibility for your life. Decide what it is that you need to Stop, Start and Keep doing in 2015 and to then go out with passion, having a lot of fun in carrying out what you have committed yourself to stop, start and keep doing (click here to read my article on “one principle that will help you get paid more by making you more valuable”)
I wish you all a wonderfully exciting 2015, filled with joy, growth, contribution, fulfilment, passion, gratitude and success.
P.S Feel that leadership development for you or your company is important? Find out more about our dynamic leadership development process by clicking here.