Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Leadership: Integrity and purpose

In leadership, one can view two characteristics of a person to make a safe assumption of the type of leader they will be: integrity and purpose. Addressing these components of a person character will allow for others, leaders and followers, to develop an effective and successful organization, regardless of the industry. This post will seek to identify and develop these characteristics of the leader.

In regards to integrity, it may be hard for one to judge one’s personality off appearance alone. However, a person can discover the leader’s integrity by observing the fruits bore within the leader’s life. Leaders have a tendency to breed success and high levels of productivity in almost every area of their life. For example, a small business owner develops their customers, business partners and competitors by leading with high integrity. The owner develops the customers by providing the best service and/or product with given resources to ensure that the customer has a pleasant experience with the company. In turn, this may prompt the customer to display the same customer service to others whether professional and/or personal relationships. Business partners become motivated to be more productive within the company when a leader of high integrity is observed engaging in a healthy level of work and pride within the company. Also, competitors may notice the success of the business; and develop better and effective strategies of doing business. All in all, a leader that operates with a high level of integrity does not wait for someone to tell them to be better, but they simply engage in a healthy level of self-leadership. In turn, the leader’s behavior has a domino effect on others around them.

For one to operate in a high level of integrity, the leader must know and operate within their purpose. Many organizations have objectives, vision, mission and goals. Why shouldn’t a leader? Organizations are made of people. So it is safe to assume that the same principles that drive a successful organization can drive an individual. One can find their purpose by simply assessing their longing, desire and passions. Also, others around can assist a person in identifying their purpose. Others can be colleagues, coworkers, supervisors or friends. Others can explore activities that a person is perceived as being a great leader. These individuals should explain activities they think a leader performs well in daily life.  Colleagues should give thoughts on activities they think the leader have displayed a high sense of excellence and passion. Next, a leader is to operate in that purpose. No matter the field, one should constantly seek to intertwine their purpose within their daily lives. This may be done in small and gradual increments; or large and radical proportions.

In conclusion, there are two points of leadership that should always be addressed when dealing with leaders: integrity and purpose. Having integrity, searching for purpose, and engaging in purpose may assist in a leader’s development. Furthermore, one should not settle with having a bad and negative outlook on a purpose. A leader has to be someone who can be encouraged to do better, but at the same time be welling to strive to become a better person regardless of being encouraged. Also, being a leader can have unethical consequences. So, it is important to understand and realize the amount of power one has on others’ lives. A high sense of integrity and purpose may assist in the continued success of a leader in many aspects of their life.  

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