So he shepherded them according to the integrity of his heart, and guided them by the skillfulness of his hands. Psalm 78:72
Nothing evokes myriads of emotions from people more than hearing about the moral failure of business, political and even religious leaders. It makes the media go abuzz, it becomes breaking news, newspapers sell extra, and blogs and social media platforms have them as trending. The moral failures of leaders have closed down many organizations and put families in jeopardy.
Integrity is defined as the consistency between what a leader says and what the leader does. It is an alignment between one’s values, words and actions, as well as the extent to which one’s promises are kept. It is one of the top attributes of a great leader. It connotes a deep commitment to do the right thing for the right reason, regardless of the circumstances.
Your capacity for influential leadership is limited when integrity is lacking. People will always check you out to see if you are believable. They will check your speech, lifestyle, family, associations, etc. The more you exhibit integrity, the easier it is for them to follow you.
I say personally, “Follow not a leader for what he ‘preaches’ but for what he practices. What he ‘preaches’ gives information, but what he practices births transformation in his followers.” Acts 1:1 says, “Jesus began to DO and then TEACH…” that secured Him the kind of following He had.
To become a leader of integrity you have to watch your tongue, i.e., ‘Say what you mean and mean what you say.’ You also have to let the Bible become your ‘value system’ – your standard of behavior. Put a check on what you permit and hold yourself accountable to God’s ideals.
Abraham Lincoln is probably the US president best known for having integrity. He said, “Great leadership is a product of great character. And that is why character matters.” He said again, “You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.” Therefore, LEAD BY EXAMPLE.
+ Ask God for grace to continually do the right things for the right reasons, regardless of the circumstances you may find yourself, in your leadership roles.
+ If you have violated the principles of integrity in your leadership, repent before God in prayers.