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Lead with Integrity

Leading with Integrity

Before I write about the topic of integrity I just need to add a little disclaimer in order to avoid any beat up sessions I might get from the locals around here. I do not always get it right, I have made many mistakes but have learnt from them and grow from these mistakes daily. These ideas around integrity are what I have learned in my short span of studies and in the experiences I have had in my own life. Having integrity in your life can really be a game changer, as it gives you a clean conscious and can build your reputation more than cutting corners can. You might get ahead by playing it dirty but eventually it will catch up to you and it can make you lose everything important to you. Leading with integrity can be tiring, frustrating and seem like you are missing out, but in reality integrity in your life, business and relationships can make or break your legacy. In this blog we will be discussing a few tips and pointers on how to live with integrity.

Integrity is a choice
Choosing integrity is a practice that should become a habit. Integrity does not always come naturally. It is in our default nature that we choose otherwise. We have to make sure that we have enough self-awareness to make correct choices that are filled with integrity. We have to train our minds to choose integrity daily. If we don’t intentionally train ourselves we run the risk of making bad decisions instead of good ones.

Why should you choose integrity?
Firstly we should choose integrity because integrity will always build up your personal brand and your business. Making decisions with integrity in mind will always build your reputation and never break it. It can also create a positive snowball effect in your business or organisation.

A common thread that we see in business or in an organisation is that we attract who we are. So if we are attracting strong leaders and clients it is because we are leading in a higher capacity. The same goes for leading with integrity, if we lead with integrity, we will attract leaders and partners who have the same values and ideas that we have. The more people who adopt the same values and ideas that you have, the more the organisation becomes stronger and concentrated.

Practical Steps
So we have spoken about integrity and why integrity is important, we have also discussed that integrity is a choice and is not always our default setting. In this next piece we will have a few practices that we can put into place in order to grow our integrity.

The first practice we need to apply is that we need to choose our values beforehand. This is one of the most important steps as it really gives good building blocks into the lifestyle we choose. A saying that has always stuck with me is that a man without a vision will always lack direction. In our context, we could say that a man without values will never grow in integrity. When we choose our values we are then able to filter all of our decisions through it. Sometimes the pressure can be on to make a quick decision, with values in place, we will most likely be able to choose the correct one.

Secondly, be uncompromising in your values. We need to realise that no matter how enticing or beneficial it might be, if it does not fit, let it go! Allowing things to happen that go against your values might be beneficial short term but in the long run it does have the potential to sabotage what you have worked so hard to build up. Make decisions that will be beneficial to you for a life time, and not for a season.

And finally, find a partner or a friend that you can be accountable to and do check in’s with. The reality is that it’s very difficult to stay on the straight and narrow path. Allowing people to come into our lives and help us stay on the path is important for us if we want to create a long lasting legacy. Another saying I remind myself is ‘show me your friends and I’ll show your future.’ Those close to us can help us achieve our goals and remind us of the people we want to be. They can also inspire us to remain patient with our values, rather than rush and make what could be the worst decision of our lives.

As the old saying says ‘Rome was not built in a day’ the same goes for us who are building a life full of integrity. Each day is an opportunity to grow in our integrity, when we first lay down our values it can seem like it is big boots to fill. But as we grow daily, we will grow into our big boots as well.

© Daniel Mitchelle - Junior Account Executive: Word-on-the-Street Media

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