Last week I asked, do you have integrity? To answer that question, I provided you with a list of six questions to help determine if you act with integrity. This week, my focus is on ideas to build integrity.
To accomplish that, I found a great resource. Tony Simmons is the author of The Integrity Dividend: Leading by the Power of Your Word.
Simmons recommends talking to the people around you to get honest feedback, what my friend Marshall Goldsmith would refer to as stakeholder centered feedback. You need to find out if you have the appropriate level of trust, and integrity drives trust.
Here are nine suggestions for building integrity:
- Fulfill your promises.
- Keep appointments.
- Before making a commitment, be absolutely positive you can deliver.
- Get comfortable saying no.
- Examine how you react in knee-jerk situations.
- Polish your communication skills.
- Consider the habits and skills you need to develop to enhance your integrity (i.e. speaking impulsively, courage over fear, apologizing, etc.)
- Take great care with the language you use, particularly when dealing with sensitive issues.
- Avoid people who lack integrity. Do not do business with them, do no associate with them, do not make excuses for them.
Effective leaders have integrity and are constantly building integrity. Effective leaders model integrity for others.