Setting an example worth following requires the establishment of a commonly understood “true north” (not to be confused with “magnetic north”). But it’s not an impossible task. Set your internal compass on demonstrating integrity, and you will lead with significance.
That’s a great sentiment in theory, but how does that translate into building and maintaining a healthy team? How can you consistently and effectively demonstrate integrity in such a way that your team values what they see enough to follow your example…and why? Let’s take a look at how to demonstrate integrity as an example for others.
Demonstrate Integrity with Consistency
When it comes to demonstrating integrity in the workplace, remember that integrity means you have based your thoughts, words, and actions on external, self-evident principles oriented toward the increased wholeness of self, others, and relationships. Simply put, you do the right thing with consistency.
Any leader knows that maintaining integrity in a performance-oriented workplace, or any environment for that matter, can be difficult even on the best days. This is why consistency is key. When you speak and act with integrity every time; it becomes your normal, and the general expectation of those around you.
So, when speaking or acting with integrity is difficult, it becomes easier through repetition (habit) and as a result of knowing it is also the reputation you’ve built. Make integrity your nature. Your team members will expect you to act with integrity even when it is at great cost to you. In fact, they’ll be surprised if you don’t. It establishes trust. And that’s a good thing (Duh). Your team members will know they can rely on your character as one that has their wholeness in mind. When you have their wholeness in mind, you truly have their best interests in mind.
Integrating Integrity Into Your Culture
While integrity is becoming second nature for your leadership team, work on instilling and restoring integrity in all parts of your organization. The first step is setting the example. Weaving integrity into every decision and action of your team makes it stronger. And they’re more likely to respond in the right ways when faced with shortcuts or opportunities to compromise on what is most important.
On the hiring end, prioritize sound, integrated character as an attribute for which you look in prospects. Consider asking for recommendations to include character statements to give you a well-rounded perspective on who the person is, not merely what they can do.
For your current team, create a culture that values clear and open communication around expectations having to do with what is ethical, right, and just. Prioritize truth and transparency. Make certain that your team knows you value integrity as a character quality that will benefit them as individuals, not just the organization.
When your employees feel valued, they’ll be more committed to the mission of the overall team. Appropriately valuing team members includes compensating and incentivizing your team fairly. However, be wary of creating an overly competitive environment as that can compromise integrity for the sake of perceived performance and its rewards.
Speaking and acting with integrity will strengthen you, your team, and your organization’s health and its brand.
Suggested Resource- For more direct and indirect ideas on how to think about and act with integrity, wholeness, and even authenticity with an organizational context, listen to the podcast, It’s time for leaders to care.
TurningWest can help you experience the benefits of a healthy, integrated work environment. TurningWest – Your guide to a healthy culture with meaningful results.