A leader’s credibility is the result of two aspects: what he does (competency) and who he is (character). A discrepancy between these two aspects creates an integrity problem.
The highest principle of leadership is integrity. When integrity ceases to be a leader’s top priority, when a compromise of ethics is rationalised away as necessary for the ‘greater good’, when achieving results becomes more important than the means to their achievement – that is the moment when a leader steps onto the slippery slope of failure.
Often such leaders see their followers as pawns, a mere means to an end, thus confusing manipulation with leadership. These leaders lose empathy. They cease to be people ‘perceivers’ and become people ‘pleasers’, using popularity to ease the guilt of lapsed integrity.
It is imperative to your leadership that you constantly subject your life and work to the highest scrutiny. Are there areas of conflict between what you believe and how you behave? Has compromise crept into your operational tool-kit? One way to find out is to ask the people you depend on if they ever feel used or taken for granted.
Do you have some unfinished business or skeletons in your cupboards?
Article by Dr Mario Denton