For some, integrity simply means telling the truth, but it goes deeper than that. Integrity has more to do with living the truth than merely telling it. It is an essential quality for all leaders. Since integrity is intimately linked with each of our own unique set of core values, we alone are the best judges to determine how well we are adhering to our internal moral code. Take the Self-Quiz below to see how well you do. (You may want to have each of your team members take it too!)
1. I take responsibility for my actions even when I expect the results may be personally or professionally unpleasant or uncomfortable.
2. I don’t make excuses for my actions. When I have made a mistake, I face up to it with confidence.
3. I make a point to tell the truth, even when it would be just as easy to say nothing.
4. I speak my mind even when I know I may not be accepted, understood or well-liked by my team.
5. I am straightforward and respectful in my communication and never resort to being passive-aggressive with any team member.
6. When I realize I have acted without integrity, I do not rationalize my behavior and move on. I own up to my actions internally, and also with the people I may have affected, despite any potentially negative consequences to me.
7. I deal with unpleasant situations up front and have no unresolved issues (bills, taxes, relationships, etc.) that are at loose ends and without closure.
8. When I compromise in life, I never feel like I go too far and sell out my values.
9. I don’t lose sleep over, become obsessed with, or avoid issues altogether; I face them head on.
10. When I try to sell the team something (an idea, a service, my choice of movie), I do not avoid eye contact, blush, stammer or hesitate.
11. When I notice other teammate’s errors, I don’t feel the need to quickly point them out.
12. I don’t feel separate, alone or isolated from my team.
Our integrity is most often tested when our ego senses that something is at stake for us: a pay raise, a promotion, a new client, dating, pride, etc. If you answered yes to six or fewer of these questions, it may be time to ask yourself what you are afraid of losing. Please don’t hesitate to call if you’d like to get some clarity on how integrity, or lack thereof, affects your work and home life.
Author’s content used under license, © 2008 Claire Communications