Leadership: Character & Integrity

In Leadership & Strategyby Tiffany Hernandez

Integrity is a relatively simple word yet it is very powerful, as is its counterpart: character. It is synonymous with honor, dignity, and leadership. You show respect to your elders, to service men and women, to your parents, and to authority figures. Your integrity is what keeps on you the straight and narrow when things get tough. Your character is what defines you, which means the better your character, the better your attitude, and the better light people see you in. Right?

The Opposite of Integrity

Far too often these days, we see instances of children being disrespectful to their parents and others. We see people being rude and disrespectful to their boss, fellow co-workers, and those in authority over them. It is so easy to lose count of the number of times we have been in line at the checkout counter and watched people berate and belittle the workers behind the cash register. It is a very sad state of affairs, probably the saddest part of it being that this seems to have become the norm. Where is the respect, the integrity, and the upstanding character that makes for great leadership?

Whatever happened to respect, honor, integrity, and dignity?  What is it going to take to get us as a nation back to the way things used to be and get back to the idea of respect? In the workplace and at home, there needs to be a change and it needs to happen soon! Here are some tips that can help swing the focus back to the positive and get leadership skills back to the forefront.

1. Focus on Success

To get people motivated, more attention should be placed on the successes. The good work an employee does should be highlighted as much as – or sometimes more than – the bad. This also holds true in the home life too. Praising and rewarding good behavior will usually result in more good behavior.

2. Brag About Others

A manager that can only give praise to himself will not be a good leader. In fact, employees have a hard time staying loyal to someone who takes all of the glory and credit and ignores those who are doing the work. It is good to get praise for doing chores and checking off that to-do list at home, but be sure you share recognition and give credit where credit is due.

3. Be Polite to Every Person

In the business world, you must treat people with respect – especially with the prevalence of the secret shopper and the undercover boss. Like in the workplace, you never know how your words and actions can impact your home and personal life, so watch what you say, have patience, and stay calm.

4. Keep the Focus on the Future

Since the plans for the future of the business need to be first and foremost, a good manager will work with – not against – employees to meet both long term and short term goals. This principle is easily transferrable to your family life as well. Your family has dreams and goals, both individual and collective, and it is important to do what you can to keep those dreams alive for your family.

5. Don’t Lose Focus on Today

Make sure you deal with the day-to-day issues that need to be addressed. Achieving the goals of tomorrow at the cost of today’s success is a poor trade-off indeed – for the home or the business life!

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