Sunday, May 2, 2010

Integrity - The Foundation of Strong Leaders

When I sat down and thought about what I wanted my first blog entry to be about, I didn’t have to think long, in fact, it became obvious to me at the same time as I decided that I would create and write a blog. A blog about what I am truly passionate about, the Hospitality Industry.

And while there are many, many things that I could have written about, I wanted to lead off with a simple entry about integrity. I wanted to write about integrity because at the heart of my beliefs, as it relates to the components that contribute to a successful business, I have always held the belief that your business must be built on a sound foundation, and what better word to describe the strength and importance of a sound foundation, than integrity.

In preparing for this entry, I looked up the word integrity in the dictionary, and I found a couple of interesting entries:

1) the quality or state of being of sound moral principle; uprightness, honesty, and sincerity, and,

2) The definition of integrity according to Webster's Dictionary is, "a rigid adherence to a code of behaviour."

There are though many ways to look at a persons’ integrity. A person with integrity possesses many qualities. Three of these qualities are honesty, the ability to follow a moral code, and loyalty to yourself and your beliefs.

Integrity shows up in many places and has many faces. The faces of truth, moral code, and loyalty are all parts of integrity and show up everyday in many ways. To have a true sense of integrity one must posses all three. You have to be honest to yourself and to others, follow your personal beliefs and stick to what you think is right, and you have to be loyal to yourself. Integrity is to be truly honest, and fair, and to uphold the beliefs important to you.

I recently came upon a definition, through my participation in a life changing course, that I have adopted as my personal definition of integrity, the statements that define my integrity, and they are:

- Being true to your ideals and standards.
- Keeping your promises.
- Being your word.
- Being true to yourself. (Shakespeare said it best when he said; “to thine own self be true”).

Now ask yourself, do you live by these standards? Do those around you? And especially, do those around you that you would define as “leaders” within your organization live by these standards? Are they truly leading by example?

I hope so, because a true leader of people recognizes that he is defined by his or her actions, not by words and that the example that he sets needs to consistently be of the highest standard if he is to be worthy of being called a leader.


  1. Love your first post!! And I like the second set of definitions better, I always thought integrity was different from morality, interesting that it's in the dictionary like that!

  2. Thanks Maria, appreciate the feedback and support..