What Is Integrity & Does It Matter?
Reputation is how others perceive you at a moment in time. Your reputation differs in the mind of every person who knows you. One person may consider you interesting and someone they want to know better, while another person of similar rank and status might not give you the time of day.
For the most part, your reputation fluctuates up and down depending on your moral and ethical victories and/or failures. Therefore…
“Reputation is about perception, but character defines who you are. Focus on integrity and your reputation will follow suit.”
People today are desperate for strong leaders, but they want to be influenced by people they can trust. If you desire to become someone who can positively influence a tribe of people, you need to develop the following qualities of integrity and live them out every day.
1. Be A Consistent Model Of Character
Solid trust can develop only when people can trust you all the time. Yes, all the time. If your tribe of followers never knows from moment to moment what you’re going to do, the relationship will never deepen to a confident level of trust. If people don’t trust you, they won’t follow you.
2. Be An Honest Communicator
Don’t beat around the bush, embellish the truth, or water-down what might be considered bad news. Tell it like it is. Communicate your thoughts in a trustworthy fashion. To be dishonest in your communication will cause people to tune you out, most likely for good. It is hard to trust a person when they talk out of two sides of their mouth.
3. Value The Trait Of Transparency
Vulnerability is quite appealing. Everyone makes mistakes and no one is perfect. We all have flaws. Eventually, people will find out about your flaws, even if you try to hide them. But if you’re honest with people and admit your weaknesses, they will appreciate your honesty and be willing to allow themselves to be influenced by you even more. Strange, but true.
4. Model Humility, Not Pride
There’s nothing more detrimental to leadership than having a reputation as being someone who is only concerned about himself or herself. People won’t trust you if they see that you are driven by ego, jealousy, or the belief that you are better than they are.
5. Acknowledge And Support Others Around You
When people are convinced that they mean almost as much to you as you mean to yourself, watch out! Those people will become so appreciative that some might even take a bullet for you. Encouragement is one thing you possess an unlimited arsenal of and which can transform the world around you. Let your support of others be known and then be prepared to be amazed.
6. Only Make Promises You Can Keep
The Bible says that we are to let our yes be yes and our no, no. Your word is your bond. You will forfeit a tremendous amount of influence over someone if you promise big but deliver small. If you say you’re going to do something, you had better deliver. If you don’t, that lack of integrity will hound you like a shadow that just won’t leave. A sure way to break trust with others is to fail to fulfill your commitments.
7. Be Others-Oriented
Your tribe needs you. You don’t need you; you need other people. To be influential means you need to be focused on others’ needs. You’ve been put on this planet to serve, not to be served. Giving of yourself and your time to others shows that you care about them.
8. Encourage Input From The People You Influence
Generally speaking, most people can come up with a great idea now and then. But if you’re always teaching/speaking and never listening, you’ll never know it. You never learn when you’re talking. You always learn when you’re listening. When you live a life of integrity, people listen to you and they follow you. Always remember that the goal of influence is not manipulation; its participation. Only as you include others in your life and success do you permanently succeed.
QUESTION: What is integrity? Do you believe that integrity in important when it comes to influential leadership? Why or why not? Click here to leave a comment.
* Image credit: HikingArtist.com (Creative Commons)