The #1 characteristic of a great leader:

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INTEGRITY.  Everything else is secondary - don't you think?

The word integrity has evolved from the Latin adjective “integer” which means whole or complete. 

Integrity means following your moral or ethical convictions and doing the right thing in all circumstances, even if no one is watching you. Having integrity means you are true to yourself and would do nothing that demeans or dishonours you.

What is your definition of integrity? 

What does integrity mean to you? Integrity is a core value but there are many values that fit under the umbrella of integrity – trust, respect, honesty, transparency for example. How do the behaviours of someone who demonstrates high levels of integrity differ from those who don’t? 

How do you know you are being treated with integrity?

Every one of us has experienced how it feels to be on the receiving end of behaviour which lacks integrity. For over thirty years I have been involved in developing leadership at every level. One of the questions I have asked many times is ‘What qualities make a great leader?’ Participants often hesitate when answering, however when I have asked them to identify what makes a poor leader there are is no shortage of responses. Lack of integrity is the most common answer but it is in no way a simple one.

Integrity requires high levels of self-awareness and inner strength as demonstrating integrity means doing what is right even when it is not easy. It means speaking your truth and being authentic but doing it in a respectful and compassionate way. It means being true to your word and walking your talk. It requires you to engage in an ongoing process of self-reflection and personal development, to be the master or mistress of your beliefs, thoughts, and emotions and to take 100% responsibility for the choices you make.

When we behave or are treated in a way that is at odds with our sense of integrity it creates a significant sense of dis – ease.  This lack of ease with our situation leads to stress, unhappiness, anxiety, and depression, it has a significant impact on our physical, emotional, mental and spiritual wellbeing. 

Leadership without integrity has a far-reaching and negative impact – the answer is the development of Enlightened Leaders who lead by example and who lead with integrity, compassion, and courage.

If you are interested in becoming instrumental in creating a positive shift in the quality of leadership come and join The Enlightened Leadership LinkedIn Group:

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