Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Creating A Healthy Culture in an Organization - A Culture of Integrity

One of most important leadership tip anyone could ever give in relation to creating healthy organizational culture, has to be the need for integrity. Now, this might seem simple enough, and we may well agree with the statement. It is when the rubber hits the road, that I wonder whether people really understand the importance of integrity.

Stories upon stories are heard of corrupt CEO's, abusive authoritarian leaders, a lack or morale because what the leader communicates does not match their actions, and the list goes on.

Most leadership books comment on the importance of depth of character, integrity and a sense of morality/conscience and the effect this has on those you are leading. John C. Maxwell devotes a chapter to integrity in Developing the Leader Within You (1993). He says:
  • Integrity builds trust
  • Integrity has high influence value
  • Integrity facilitates high standards
  • Integrity results in a solid reputation, not just image
  • Integrity means living it myself before leading others
  • Integrity helps a leader be credible, not just clever
  • Integrity is a hard-won achievement (p. 35-48).
Why does integrity amongst leaders help create a healthy organizational culture? Firstly, as already noted, trust is built. When the leader says something, you know they will be trustworthy, based on previous experiences. It is demoralizing to not be able to trust a leader, as this becomes an infectious disease within the organization! Secondly, integrity is paramount to this healthy organizational culture, because a leader exemplifies the 'do as I do, not just as I say' kind of rhetoric.

You may not be able to cause someone else to have integrity, but you can cause yourself to have it!

That's the end of this Leadership Training Module Two on Creating Healthy Organizations. Feel free to comment below, and I hope you enjoyed and were challeged by the content.

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