“Integrity” often times becomes an overused word during elections. It has the potential to pollute campaigns, roll eyes, and cause the word to lose meaning. It’s not something you announce to the world, it’s doing what’s right when no one else is watching. Telling others you have integrity is like a fake façade. It looks nice and pretty on the surface, but it’s not truly authentic. Integrity is proven by always doing what’s right even when it’s unpopular or means standing alone.
As voter’s do we just take a candidate’s word that they have integrity or do we make it our job to first figure out if that candidate truly understands what having integrity means and second, will they do the right thing when others aren’t watching?
So, what does it mean to truly have integrity?
It means that as a candidate you understand that becoming a leader doesn’t involve a crown thrust upon your head, nor a throne placed beneath you. You understand that leadership is about vision, trust, and responsibility, not power.
You understand that without trust we cannot truly collaborate with each other, we’re merely coordinating, or at best, cooperating with others. You understand it is trust that transforms a group of people into a healthy community.
You understand that you are given the responsibility to bring the best out in others.
You choose your thoughts and actions based on values rather than personal gains.
You understand that it’s not about caring who is right, but rather about what is right.
You understand that your leadership MUST benefit those you serve and NOT enrich the leader.
You live up to your values, never remain silent about difficult things, and you do not avoid hard questions.
You understand that what you do has far greater impact than what you say.
You do not allow opportunity to control your loyalty.
You strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.
You have the courage to make tough decisions and the compassion to listen to the needs of others. You do not set out to become a leader, but you earn it by the quality of your actions and the integrity of your intent.
You demonstrate what’s possible.
You understand that leadership is earned and not given. Leadership cannot be taken away, you lose it by lack of performance, personal agendas, and conflict of interest.
You understand that as a leader you must be close enough to relate to others, but far enough ahead to motivate them.
You understand that leadership is the capacity to translate visions into reality.
You understand leaders never stop learning.