Easter - 2018

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Leading with Honor and Integrity

"The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionably integrity. Without it, no real success is possible, no matter whether it is on a section gang, a football field, in an army, or in an office.” – Dwight D Eisenhower

“Honesty and integrity are by far the most important assets of an entrepreneur.”
                                                                                                 – Zig Ziglar

When I think of honor and integrity as valued personality and character traits of a leader, I do not simply refer to sincerity or honesty. Integrity’s essence is derived from the root definitions: entireness, wholeness, soundness. Honor as it is added to integrity extends through the inner core and wholeness of the character of the individual and the organization. It is found in small matters as well as great; for the allegiance of the soul to truth is tested by small things rather than by those which are more important. These are the building stones to which a person rises out of mediocre living to mighty influence throughout the world.

We think that we hate the lack of honor and integrity when we are only hating the consequences resulting in the absence of honor and integrity. We resent hypocrisy, negligent ethics, treachery and deception, not because they are untrue, but because they harm us and harm the culture around us. We hate the falseness of fake integrity, but we are half pleased with the false praise. It is evidently not the element of untruth here that is displeasing, but the element of harmfulness. Thus, the only genuine response is a deep commitment to honor, integrity and higher standards which are often the harder road and more often underappreciated, but the consequential outcome rises to greatness.

Diligence and hard work in maintaining honor and integrity as it relates to our personal lives, as well as to the organizations we serve, produces great success to which every participant gains a proud legacy. These personality traits find root with the leader. It is essential for leaders of our homes, organizations, and corporations to frame honor and integrity around every endeavor of life. These individuals produce a dynamic culture which anticipates honor and integrity in everyone. I agree with Amy Lyman when she writes: “When a trustworthy leader acts with humility, is respectful of others and uses the power of his position and his personal power to benefit others, then he is honorable. And his integrity to those qualities is admirable.”[1] The perception is paradoxical, but the reality is everyone benefits and the person leading the charge establishes a “wholeness” and “completeness” legacy.

Within a world where compromise is the norm, fake news is in many conversations, social media produces one-line rants, and families are seeking genuine authenticity; the world is also passionately pleading for honor and integrity. We must recoil from the deceptions of sensational and easy paths. It is our task to strive for greatness as leaders who fight vigorously for honor and integrity while rejecting untruth as untruth: who resents the smooth and polished falsehood of society which does no immediate harm, but deceives the excellence of life. We must respond to the plea with credibility, respect, and fairness. It is then we will be known as leaders who possessed the valued personality traits of honor and integrity. 

You know I love ya, Don

[1]. Amy Lyman, PhD. “Leading with Honor and Integrity.” The Trustworthy Leader, 12 Nov. 2012, http://www.trustworthyleader.org/eng/Blog/8_Leading-with-Honor-and-Integrity.html.


Teri said...

Great message here! Thank you Don.

Don Crane said...

Thank you Teri.