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Is Your Integrity Intact?

Ethics and ambition will be in conflict with each other if a leader is not the master of his ambition. There are two kinds of leaders; one kind keeps his/her integrity intact, and the other type of leader does not.

The one who does keeps it close and guards it. It is OK if it is a little tattered around the edges and maybe holding a patch or two, but it is essentially all there.

The one who does not keep his integrity intact sheds pieces along the way so that when that leader reaches the position he or she holds, there is a real question as to whether or not they can conduct themselves in an ethical manner.

How can you be sure you are doing everything you can to be one of those who holds his integrity intact? I think the verdict is clear. Just in the past five years you can find real life examples of corporate leaders who failed in spectacular fashion.

And the seeds of their destruction was rooted in the absence of ethical conduct. They chose the easy path instead because it looked like the fastest way out of a dilemma. Yet solutions that often appear to be a way out of a dilemma create opportunities for inappropriate behavior.

It leads to policies that, instead of creating innovation and growth, function as a shield allowing directors and managers to engage in behavior that is self-serving and unethical.

How many of you have heard the phrase honest to a fault?

All us deal with a lot of noise in popular culture. With great sound and fury we demand that our leaders must be as close to perfect as possible.

Yet, even the best of us lead imperfect lives, and the successful leader is one who catches his/her mistake and quickly corrects it. Good leaders do not allow gaps to form between the error and the action to correct the mistake.

Review the absence of the word “morality” in the business environment. This is not about forming judgements or replacing standards of behavior. It is about the moral dimensions of what they are doing.