Have you given much thought recently to integrity? Of the 1300 senior executives who responded to a recent survey, 71% indicated that integrity is the human quality most necessary for enhancing an executive’s effectiveness. While it is encouraging that integrity is recognized as an important value, integrity is certainly not as common as we would like to see in the business world. Nor for that matter in religious or ministry circles. The dictionary defines integrity as being complete or undivided. When a person has integrity, his actions match his words. His conduct is not characterized by duplicity or hypocrisy, but by an authentic and unified character. As leaders, we cannot impart that which we do not possess! We cannot expect integrity from colleagues, subordinates, friends or family members, if our lives are not characterized by the very same quality. U.S. Army Captain Andrew Entwistle responding to Navy Admiral Jeremy Boorda’s suicide wrote, “Integrity is like virginity—once you lose it, it’s gone for good…No officer should ever be in a position where he or she fears the truth.” Nor should any leader. If integrity is to be the hallmark of our lives and leadership, we need to make the following commitments:
- I will do what I say no matter how hard;
- I will live what I teach despite the difficulty;
- I will be honest with others whatever the cost;
- I will put what is best for others ahead of what is best for me the heartbeat of servant leadership; and
- I will be transparent, authentic and vulnerable and keep integrity on display in a visible, intentional, yet humble manner.
If our lives are to impact others with the life-changing message of the gospel, integrity will characterize our conduct. You and your message are one. Let’s commit to speak (and live) with absolute unity! Stay the Course, Greg Morris
Copyright Greg Morris and Ministry Health 1998–All Rights Reserved
* Greg Morris Ministries WebSite is located at http://www.leadershipdynamics.org.