Authentic Servant Leaders know that if they don’t have integrity all the time then they don’t have integrity at all.
Without integrity you will find it very difficult, I would say virtually impossible, to truly lead. You may be able to manipulate, you may be able to coerce, and you may be able to force compliance but none of that has much to do with true leadership.
Leadership posers, people who occupy positions of leadership without really leading can at best get the compliance of their people. True leaders, especially Authentic Servant Leaders, earn the commitment of their people.
Untrusted leaders are unfollowed leaders and if no one is following… well then they’re really not leaders at all.
Integrity is the foundation on which all other leadership characteristics are built. There are many leadership qualities and characteristics that matter it’s just that they all matter less, much less, if integrity is lacking.
You can have great judgment, you can care for your people, you can have tremendous vision, but if your people can’t trust you then they can’t follow you. Notice I didn’t say “won’t” follow you, I said “can’t.”
Follower-ship requires the follower to have some level of commitment to the leader. It is almost humanly impossible to commit to a person we don’t trust. Trust comes straight from the integrity tree.
No integrity means no trust, no trust means no commitment, no commitment means no follower-ship.
Authentic Servant Leaders know that it’s a waste of time to talk about their integrity. They also know that people of high integrity don’t need to talk about it because they are showing it all the time.
Demonstrating integrity means making certain that your thoughts, word, and actions are all in alignment. Demonstrating integrity means showing that you do what’s good for all, not for one.
We’ve all seen too many people who have sacrificed their integrity for a shot at the top spot of an organization (or a country) and in doing so also gave up their opportunity to truly lead. If you’ve seen it happen to other people then you know it happens.
Only you can make certain that it doesn’t happen to you!