Integrity: Leadership Threats Blog Series Post Two

This PLI Blog series is inspired by PLI’s support of the California Association of Directors of Activities annual convention and their theme “Licensed to Lead.”

Each day leaders face a myriad of threats that can delay or derail their best efforts. In this series we will concentrate on the top 10 threats to “National Leadership Security” and the specific leadership tool that is most effective at combating it.

Threat #2: Discredited/Fake/Self-Doubt
Leadership Tool of Choice: Integrity

You may have the gift to speak, but, if followers don’t believe the messenger they will not accept the message. You may have the gift of vision, but if followers do not trust that your interests are aligned with theirs they will be reluctant to give you full commitment. If you have not acted honorably, you will carry the added burden of self-doubt and worry that your dark deed will be discovered.

“Credibility is the foundation of leadership,” finds leadership researchers Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner. All you have to do is look in the news to find a daily dose of folks whose credibility has been discredited. You see it in your world too. People who act one way in public yet in their Facebook page and pictures reveal a different person in private. People can tell when you are acting. And, while leadership requires action, it is a state of being and not an act.

“In looking for people to hire, you look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence, and energy. And, if they don’t have the first, the other two will kill you.” Warren Buffett

The second PLI Essential is Integrity. We define integrity as being guided by character and to lead by example. Character and credibility are the model and mold that your followers pour themselves into. You cannot possibly hope to create trustworthy followers strong in character and credibility if their example is flawed and fake.

Here are some insightful questions to help followers get connected to the PLI Essential of Integrity:

  • What is the condition of your credibility?
  • What do you need to say “no” to in order to keep the “yes’s” you’ve already made?
  • Do you under-promise and over-deliver or do you over-promise and under-deliver?
  • Who in your world is the most credible, honest, and integrity-filled person you know? How do you know this? What example of theirs can you model and add to your life?
  • Who is the least trustworthy and honorable person in your life? Why aren’t they believable? Why do you still associate with them? 

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