When carbon fiber bike frames were first introduced there were examples of “massive failures” as the frames shattered at high speed or when under pressure. That led to ugly crashes. The challenge was that the frames looked good from the outside yet they lacked internal structural integrity.
Same with leadership. Successful leaders must possess integrity along with their strong skills, competence and experience. In fact, it is their internal integrity, often hard to see at first, that keeps them successful during times of high demands and stress!
John Sporleder, Founder and President of Sporleder Human Capital, describes integrity as the unseen foundation that effective leadership is built upon. In an article titled “Leadership in the Workplace:The Importance of Integrity” he lists three crucial attributes that leaders with integrity possess:
- Stability: the ability to remain steadfast and true to your values despite the turmoil and volatility in the workplace or culture.
- Safety: a willingness to trust people and give them the benefit of the doubt when they try their own ideas. An expectation of openness and honesty.
- Reference: serving as a role model and example for others. Holding oneself to a standard of integrity for others to follow.
Internal integrity is not always flashy but it is powerful!