Raising the level of your leadership

A Cracked Foundation?

cracked-foundation-walls-in-parma-oh-44129From the last post: “…more than anything, people want leaders who are credible. Credibility is the foundation of leadership….” (Kouzes & Posner, The Leadership Challenge)

If credibility is the foundation of leadership, what is the foundation of credibility? What one thing do all leaders with a high LEADERSHIP FICO score have in common? What does leadership credibility rest on and rely on? The answer: integrity. Integrity is the foundation of credibility. You cannot have credibility without it.

You can have great vision; without integrity it means nothing.

You can be a terrific communicator; without integrity it means nothing.

You can be a strategic thinker or great planner; without integrity it means nothing.

People may follow you because they have to, but they won’t follow you because they want to unless you have integrity.

About 3500 years ago, God gave us three simple rules for integrity in the Ten Commandments:
#7—don’t cheat
     #8—don’t steal
     #9—don’t lie
Follow those three rules in everything you do and your integrity will be fine.

The standard of integrity in any organization is set by the leadership and becomes part of the organization’s culture. However, it is not what you say, it is not written slogans, it is what you do that matters. John Maxwell says it this way: “What people need is not a motto to say, but a model to see.”

Cracks in foundations usually start small and grow until the structure can be in danger of collapse. Cracks in integrity usually follow the same pattern: office supplies taken home for personal use, inflated expense reports, illegal copies of books, or an extra hour or two of overtime claimed.

It’s important to remember that integrity is much more than not getting caught. Solomon tells us that “The man of integrity walks securely, but he who takes crooked paths will be found out.” Your standard of integrity should be much higher than not being “found out.”

Billy Graham once said: “When wealth is lost, nothing is lost; when health is lost, something is lost; when character is lost, all is lost.”

Why don’t you patch your integrity cracks today, before you lose it all?

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Copyright 2015 by Dick Wells, The Hard Lessons Company

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  • On Leading Well…

    "The best way to lead people into the future is to connect with them deeply in the present."

    Kouzes & Posner


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