Integrity Is Not A Word It’s A Leadership Behaviour.
The saying goes “talk is cheap” and this is at the core of how people see integrity in terms of their leaders. For me, it’s not a word on the wall, but a behaviour that you simply can’t hide behind the well-crafted values statements that adorn offices and walls in most organisations.
Now in my view, you can take two paths as a leader or an organisation, either keep your promises and act in congruence with your words or don’t. BUT, if you choose the latter beware as it no doubt leads the team to see you and the organisation you represent as untrustworthy and inauthentic.
This lack of behavioural integrity also has some potentially devastating impacts on your performance in two ways according to the research:
1. Your team’s performance, retention, engagement & commitment inevitably goes down
2. Other KPI’s including customer satisfaction, company stock performance and profitability also take a serious hit.
So now that I have your attention, here are four steps you can take to strengthen your behavioural integrity from a leadership perspective:
1. Only make promises you can keep, stop over promising, under promise and overdeliver instead and just say no more often
2. Don’t talk about integrity, behave with integrity, you’ve heard of the tall poppy syndrome, you are always on show as a leader, so you better act with integrity every minute of every day.
3. Make integrity a non-negotiable for EVERYONE. If there’s one thing I can’t and won’t tolerate is a lack of integrity and you should move swiftly and without mercy when someone doesn’t have any.
4. Cultivate your authenticity & develop your emotional intelligence, authenticity by definition is your acting in congruence with your values, so that makes sense and your self-awareness and awareness of others help you make the right call for you and your team when your integrity is most likely to be put the test.