GEN. Shelton asserts that integrity is the foundation for a good values based leader. He makes the point that if a person does not have integrity, a person does not have strong moral character. You will not be able to count on a person without integrity. Conversely a person who does have strong moral character and integrity is someone that you can trust implicitly. In his words, “…their word is their bond. You don’t have to worry about a person with integrity if they tell you they’re going to commit to do something, they will do it. If I tell you I’m going to do something, You know that I’m going to do it if at all possible, the best leaders who’ve had forged leadership in the crucible of combat go all the way to say they will do it even if it costs me my life. I’m going to go out and do what I promised you that I would do.”
Additionally, GEN Shelton notes that we end up disassociating ourselves from a person who lacks integrity because we don’t want our integrity to be tarnished. The challenges of integrity go back throughout recorded history of time. It’s evident in many books with the Old Testament. It is the subject of many writings in the classical Humanities studies. We see it today in the headlines from multiple professions where the headlines trumpet individuals who have not led with integrity.
As noted in the post on Honesty, integrity is based on a series of decisions you and I make that are analyzed and cataloged by those we lead and those we are led by. When you lead with integrity, you also bring others to you who share your same values and it becomes reinforcing spiral of goodness. Luckily, however, the more that you associate with people who have a great deal of integrity, it inspires you to be continue to act in a similar vein.
What situations have you found where you completely trusted an individual because of that person’s integrity?