If you examine what it takes to be a successful leader, you’ll find that integrity tops the list of essential leadership competencies. While it may not be a sexy or popular topic in today’s often polarized climate, a leader who demonstrates integrity through truthfulness, accountability, and efforts to keep their promises, is much more likely to be trusted and followed, than those leaders who don’t. Webster’s dictionary defines integrity as a firm adherence to a code of values. As I’ve pondered it recently, to lead with integrity means that I fully live my values. And that, my friend, is easier said than done.
Living your values seems to be more of a continuous journey than something you choose to do or not do. One of the values that I continue to work on is developing the potential in others. I have been so fortunate to work in the talent management field where I can enact that value every day by encouraging others to continue their professional development and seek leadership opportunities that utilize their strengths. There is nothing more satisfying than when I can celebrate a colleague’s accomplishment in completing a degree, obtaining a promotion, or achieving success in their role and know that I’ve helped to support them in some way.
Author Brian Tracy captures this concept of living your values well, saying:
“Once you have decided that you are going to live consistent with a value, your level of integrity determines whether or not you follow through on your commitment. The more you discipline yourself to live consistent with the very best you know, the greater is your level of personal integrity. And the higher your level of integrity, the happier and more powerful you will feel in everything you do.”
If you are interested in doing a little reflection about your values there are many values clarification assessments tools that you can use. Here is a free assessment that you can complete online: http://www.lifevaluesinventory.org/
Another helpful tool can be found at “This I Believe,” an international organization that engages people in writing and sharing essays that describe the core values that guide their daily lives. You can find it at: http://thisibelieve.org/
If you are interested in working with a coach to clarify your values or to assess where you are on the journey to fully living your values, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org