Real integrity is dong the right thing, knowing that nobody is going to know that whether you did it or not
If you want to be a leader, you need to have respect, and if you want to have respect, you need to have integrity. If people can’t count on you to behave in an honorable manner, they are never going to trust you to lead them. In my life, I’ve seen it happen over and over again. The moment people see you behaving without integrity, they lose all faith in you, and everything becomes a power struggle.
Not terribly long ago, I was spacing out when I was spraying weeds on my lawn. Before I knew what was happening, I had also managed to spray my neighbor’s new garden bed, which adjoined my property. There was no one around, and I could have just quietly gone back indoors, but instead I went and explained the situation to my neighbor. She was surprised and of course irritated, but things got a lot better when I offered to replace the new plants she had just put in. When I planted the new plants later that afternoon, she came out and told me how much she appreciated what I had done, and our relationship is better than ever.
Can you imagine what would have happened if I didn’t mention the issue and she found out about it?
More recently, I was at work and realized that my team had made an error on a certain report that was due. The error could have been made by any one of us, but I took responsibility and committed myself to fixing it. To my surprise, several of my teammates, following my example, took on the unpaid overtime to help me fix the report. Leadership allows you to inspire others, especially when they know that you are not going to just pass the buck!
There are several examples in my own life of how integrity has helped me lead others. Leadership is a quality that all people should strive towards, and you will find that in many ways, it is easier than you think it is. Most of us know what is right; it’s just that doing the right thing is inconvenient. In many ways, it is not even hard. If you are willing to go that extra step, people are going to find you worth following.
Last week, at work, I realized that a co-worker had made an error on his work. Without his awareness, the issue was big enough that it could have gotten him fired. Now, this co-worker isn’t someone I knew very well, and he isn’t even in my department, but I knew that he was not exactly at fault. There were a number of problems in our system for what this error had occurred. I stepped in, explained how things had happened and worked towards ensuring it would never happen again. Today, I found out that this co-worker had requested a transfer to my team.
Whether you’re dealing with neighbors of Hampton’s homes or co-workers, if you follow a few simple principles associated with integrity, you’ll be on your path to a more successful life. If you want to be a leader, step in and act with integrity. It is not pleasant, and in many ways, it isn’t convenient at all, but it is always worth it!
About the author: Sam Marquit is a Professional Writer, Publisher & Editor. He writes at fmarquitv.tumblr.com
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