As an entrepreneur or really anyone in life integrity is key for being a great leader! Before I dig into it to deep let me give you the definition of integrity and how I also interpret it!
the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness.
At first glance it seems straight forward right? Just being an overall good person, but I look at it a bit deeper than that. To me it is always doing the right thing even when no one is looking. Often times in business you could cut a corner when no one would even know, but then you have lowered yourself down to less of a person. This will eventually become who you are because you did it once and no one noticed so why not right?
The issue that develops from this is when your employees see this happen! It sets a tone for the business, your making it known that you can get away with it so they can as well! You want to build up integrity in yourself personally and your business as a culture as well. In my fabrication business there have been several times we could have sent a part out the door with a flaw no one would have noticed. We didn’t though because we have standards for ourselves as a business!
As a leader of my business, I make promises to customers often with deadliness. There are many times that I have made a promise knowing that deep down I really don’t want to have it completed by then. Unfortunately, or should I say fortunately it eats me alive! When I give my word to someone I have to keep it. I might have to get into work early and work late to make sure it gets done but my word is who I am. What this does is build TRUST! Once you create that with someone, you have reached a new level of a relationship!
Another key item that I think leaders who have integrity thrive with is the truth! I feel like those with low integrity are afraid of hearing the truth. Hearing the truth not only from others but from yourself as well! Those who seem to always be in the same position lack the authority to be honest with themselves. They want to have an excuse of why they didn’t perform and have someone pick up their slack! Do not be afraid of criticism as it is a quick way to improve yourself. If you are unable to hear that criticism you will lack the integrity you need to be a truly successful leader. Leaders who understand that there are others out there who may know more will be successful!
Our episode on accountability resonates with this! Listen HERE!
At the end of the day integrity is something that is a habit that is built upon you. It should not be something that is “situational”. Integrity should be built into who you are no matter how big or small the situation may be. What this does is prove to others is that you are as solid as it can be!
Here are some tips on how to build integrity:
- Keep your word
- Be Honest
- Be consistent-employees will see this!
- NO SHORTCUTS
- Be patient!
Work on these key 5 items and you will notice yourself building integrity! This is something that will be built and after time it will become who you are! Everyone is always working to be better and this is just one way you can improve yourself and business!