Have you ever been in a meeting where everyone was told to silence their phone, yet there were a few who decided that giving full attention to the meeting wasn’t a priority and they continuously glance at their phones? Or is there a co-worker who adheres to a different standard of rules than those communicated to the rest team, like always showing up late or taking credit for a project they didn’t even work on?
One of the first steps to becoming a true leader is to keep your promises and set examples that you want others to follow. By not adhering to what we preach, we can lose integrity and respect among our colleagues, customers and peers.
What is integrity and why is it important? Integrity is the characteristic of being honest and having strong moral principles. This would mean that a person is fair, honest, good and truthful. A person who always does the right thing, whether there are consequences or not and when no one is looking. As a business leader, integrity is crucial to having others trust you so you continue to grow a beneficial relationship whether for personal or business. My tips for maintaining your integrity include:
- Keep others in the loop. Communication is crucial to an organization and in building trust. If you are experiencing slow growth or reviewing an upcoming merger, better to share ongoing updates with employees, than lose trust in the long run for pulling the rug out from beneath them. This is not a time for surprises.
- Refer the project to someone else. Do you take on a project knowing it is outside of your abilities and expertise? The better choice is to recommend a colleague that has experience with that scope of work. You may not win the deal, but you will be able to face that client or prospect again. They will appreciate the recommendation and will most likely contact you to assist with another project in the future.
- Don’t leave others in a bind. Whether you have a project deadline and your team is counting on you to come through, the coffee pot is empty because you took the last cup, or you caught a typo in a print ready file – don’t ignore the situation! Take the five minutes needed and make the fix so you don’t leave others in a dilemma. This will allow you to continue through the day knowing you have integrity, and you won’t need to worry about the incident coming back to haunt you.
No matter what position we hold within an organization, we have the ability to validate our respect for our team and the company by demonstrating integrity in all workplace situations. Stay on course and exhibit your leadership skills and respect for others through every move you make, and you will be someone remembered as having integrity.