Integrity is by far the most important asset of a leader.


A few years ago, I missed out on a huge promotion because I didn’t comply with an action from a CEO of my then establishment. He instructed me to hold back a delinquent customer’s payment, so their mortgage would be transferred to the non-accrual status, so that his colleague could supposedly submit an offer to purchase this prime property. Reality check: doing the right things may not bring on the welcoming committee rather you may be beaten for it. I faced the brunt of his wrath thereafter. I knew then I didn’t have a future in that organization. I left with my integrity intact which is more valuable than any job.

Integrity is something that is built over time, not overnight. The seemingly trivial decisions and choices you make behind closed doors when no one is looking, will ultimately carve your character. Eventually, the truth always comes to light.

7 Deal-breaking behaviours that makes employees lose trust in their leaders.

  1. Taking credit for someone’s work.
  2. Blaming others and not standing up for your team.
  3. False promises to get someone to do something.
  4. Favoritism and being unfair.
  5. Downplaying employees’ accomplishments to make oneself look better.
  6. Not appreciating loyalty, hard-work and efforts of others.
  7. Treating others poorly – not showing respect or empathy, micromanaging employees, not trusting them to do their job.

Your ability to influence is not just based on skill or intelligence; it’s based on trust and requires integrity, which is the foundation of real and lasting influence.

Even if you possess emotional intelligence, creativity, vision, passion, (and all the important leadership skills), but you lack integrity, no one will believe or trust you. Integrity is the foundation on which leadership is built. If there is no integrity, your leadership influence will crumble. Lack of integrity renders all other leadership traits ineffective.

People want a leader who practices what he or she preaches, and who follows through on promises. Many companies are struggling with low employee engagement. An employee’s relationship with their manager sets the tone for their level of commitment to the organization’s success. It’s hard to feel passion for a job after you witness a lapse in integrity in your manager.

If you are not a person of integrity— your team won’t trust you, vendors won’t believe you, and customers will not support your business.

For loyalty, there has to be a relationship that develops between employee and employer and this develops over time through trust. Transparency, authenticity and walking the talk are essential for building trust. You can’t buy employee loyalty, but you can certainly foster and nurture it by being a person of integrity.

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 Leading the Workforce of the Future