Saturday, October 31, 2009


So I’ve been doing reading online about “What Makes a Good Leader.” I found a number of good articles, but one had a quote about how Integrity was the most important quality of a leader.

What is Integrity?

The longer I live, the more I question this. Not simply because I just don’t see it in those around me, but because I question if I myself could ever hope to be called someone of this value. What is it?

The dictionary defines “integrity” as adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty.

Joe Love wrote an article on “The Importance of Integrity.” In it he shared a lot of very true and good information. Integrity is considered a value – like wisdom, virtue, patience, courage, intelligence or perseverance. It is a foundation of ones character. It is someone who is able to be totally honest and truthful in every part of their life. And they say a person who can achieve a life filled with integrity will find himself or herself in a very happy and successful life.

This doesn’t just mean you are this way with others though! You must be able to be honest with yourself: “Be true to yourself.” If you can do this, the idea is that you will always be able to be honest with others without trouble.

Integrity to One’s Self

Why is having integrity so important personally anyway? What’s so bad about lying if it’s just to you? Can’t you just tell yourself one thing and then go and do another? Nobody will find out since its just you. What’s the big deal?

Well, when you can self justify lying to yourself by thinking you are the only one aware of the lie, you put yourself into that mindset that your judgment is not important – that only the judgment of others is important. The result of this mindset is a diminished sense of self-respect and a break down of trust in yourself over time till you simply don’t trust yourself at all.

In the end, without that integrity towards yourself within yourself, you’re only deceiving and hurting yourself. A loss of your personal integrity is self-invalidating and as one anonymous online author said: “it is a sign of a mind rejecting itself.”

Integrity towards Others

The Universal Law of Attraction says that like attracts like. Things in harmony with your dominant thoughts will come to you: events, people or things – because of who you are. If you should be honest with yourself and note that there is something you are unhappy with in your life, work on changing who you are so you stop attracting those people or things or events into your life!

Your willingness and ability to adhere to the values most important to you show integrity. “It is easy to make promises but hard to keep them.” Every time you keep a promise, you’re performing an act of integrity. If you act with integrity in everything, you’ll find those of like-mindedness to yourself.

Think about it a moment. Think about those people who you trust and respect. What did they have in common? More than likely, those people do AND say what they mean!!! They are consistent and are showing integrity. BUT! What do you think when you meet someone who is opposite? Those people who say one thing but do and act in another way. Do you trust them? Not very likely.

This is the Universal Law of Attraction. What applies to you, applies to them as well!

In an article called “The Critical Importance of Integrity” by William A. Cohen wrote the following :

Maintaining absolute integrity is the bottom line rule for any leader if they want their subordinates to follow them during all conditions. You can develop your integrity if you will:

1. Keep your word. If you say something, make certain it is the exact truth.

2. Choose the harder right over the easier wrong. There are times when you are faced with choices of right or wrong. No matter what your boss matter what the stockholders matter if you will lose your job...choose the right.

3. Guard your principles. This means that you must be trustworthy and principled. This is a part of maintaining your integrity as well.

4. Do the right thing. When you are in a situation that you stand to lose a lot by stating the complete truth, that is exactly the time to do the right thing. When you treat others with respect, they will treat you with respect as well.

General Alexander Haig, Jr. was once Supreme Allied Commander in Europe and later Secretary of State under President Reagan. He has been a leader in peace and war and government and industry. He has this to say: “In an era marked by at least the appearance of questionable integrity and moral courage by many contemporary leaders, the demonstration of absolute integrity by a leader is the most important principle that any leader must follow.”

Integrity in a video game?

People seem to think a video game excuses a lot of things. I myself did for quite sometime. And I excused it as a game. A place I could be someone that I wasn’t. But as time went on I began to realize people were coming to expect things of me that I wasn’t. Things I could never maintain. And I came forward and was honest. It was perhaps one of the hardest things I had to do. I had to be honest first to myself about the falseness in my life and next I had to be that way with someone I cared about.

Someone might say “integrity” in a video game is taking things way too serious. But if I am to truly have this as a description of me, it cannot only be something in my real life. It needs to be someone I am to myself and to the virtual.

Even more so, after my study I see a need for myself to be this way as a leader!!! Self-confidence is born from self honesty. Self-confidence is attractive to others and boosters their courage. Honesty to yourself and others, boosts a trust from others towards you. It allows better communication. Better team work. Fierce loyalty. It is perhaps a true charisma and motivator.

I can honestly say this is a trait I want in my life. And now if I wish to continue being honest with myself, I will endeavor to put this into action in all aspects of my life. The virtual and the real.

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