Are Character and Integrity in a Leader still valued?

Take a moment and turn on any news channel, read any newspaper, or just peruse the internet and the immediate conclusion you draw is that we are experiencing a Global Leadership Crisis—a leadership crisis of leaders who lack character and personal integrity. The main reason or cause of this crisis are leaders who, on a daily basis, compromise their character at the altar of expedience, personal gain, and likeability. In addition, these scrupulous leaders undermine and devalue their personal integrity for duplicitousness, greed, and profit.

It seems strange that for a world crying out for leadership integrity, that integrity does not seem to be a valuable characteristic in leadership today. It does not seem to matter where you turn, there is another leader falling from grace because they have compromised their personal integrity, they have compromised their values, and they have sacrificed their character. What I find truly alarming dis the incongruence between a leader’s private life and his public leadership. Just look at the news today. Leaders with integrity and principles are mocked for being too religious or too narrow-minded while Politicians who lie and deceive are praised for being progressive and forward thinking. What a conundrum!

Institutions and Leaders that should and were held in high regard–Governments, Presidents, Governors, Politicians, CEOs, and Military Leaders–are guilty of dishonesty, greed, corruption, and self-indulgence. It makes you shake your head and wonder what leadership really means. It seems to me that it stems from a devaluation of personal and leadership integrity and a willingness to compromise character for personal gain. It also makes me wonder if we are not living in Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave”. Those who have seen real leadership try to tell us the true meaning, but we still think that the shadows we see on the wall is true leadership. What madness!!

This devaluation of integrity and a willingness to compromise character for gain will have worldwide implications. In the globally interconnected, ambiguous, and complex world we live in, the single actions of these corrupt Institutions and Individuals can have massive impact, if not worldwide implications.

A corrupt and single-minded leader can cause the collapse of an organization, national credit ratings, and/or worldwide market down turns. Worse yet, their corrupt single mindedness could create a generation of likeminded creatures who end up replacing them as leaders in their organizations. The new creature, who will be called a leader, will create his or her own havoc and chaos–a leader who is far worse than the one who leads today. Unless we stop calling people who think only of themselves, leaders, we will never have true leadership.

There is a serious vacuum of leaders who will lead with integrity and uncompromised character. Why do we have this crisis in the first place? Because we no longer hold these Institutions and Individuals in high regard and we have become apathetic to their actions. We no longer hold them accountable or responsible for their transgression. We have allowed ourselves to become the frog in the boiling kettle. It is as if we expect it and do not care anymore. We have forgotten that integrity, trust, and character lie at the very core of true leadership.

The real problem we have today is that news outlets, celebrities, and politicians are trying to tell us what true leadership should be. We have allowed integrity, accountability, responsibility, trustworthiness, reliability, and credibility to lose their true meanings. It is time for this madness to stop!

It is time we demanded more of our leaders! We need a new breed of leader, a breed who not only understands integrity and character, but also lives it daily; a leader who has the courage to live his or her values, beliefs, and worldview every day. The foundation of real leadership begins with the leader’s character, their integrity, their trustworthiness, and their credibility..

We need leaders who believe in integrity, character, competence, courage, and commitment. We need leaders who value people instead of just profit. We need leaders who build and develop other leaders of character and integrity instead of creatures of profit and greed. We need leaders who lead by example and lead with a servant’s heart.

We need leaders who are focused purposefully on developing a generation of leaders who are concerned with others more than their agendas. We need leaders who choose to be the very best leader they can be each day and every day. We need leaders who inspire because true leaders inspire! We need real leaders!

Becoming a leader is a choice. A critical choice you have to make in your personal and professional life. Each day you have a choice to be a leader of integrity and character and credibility. You are the key to becoming a leader and being a leader! If you want to realize victory as a leader, then you have to take charge of becoming a leader and being a leader. You must take responsibility for your leadership, believe in your leadership possibilities, and look for your leadership opportunities. Why? Because becoming a leader requires hard work, integrity, intentionality, self-discipline, sacrifice, commitment, courage, character, and competence.

Being a leader is a decision. No matter what you do, you are making choices and decisions. Some decisions will work the way you planned and some will not. Nevertheless, you own the decision and its outcome. So take the time to think about the outcome before you make the decision

The true key, if you want to be an unstoppable leader, then you need to take 100% control of your personal and professional life. Unstoppable leadership is a calling to serve a higher purpose. Becoming an unstoppable leader is about you; however, being an unstoppable leader is not about you. You can choose to lead each day with authenticity, trust, and credibility by leading with your values, beliefs, and worldview. Or you can lead falsely by putting on the mask of leadership and playing a leadership role. The beginning of an unstoppable leadership begins with the knowledge that is up to you to lead each day with self-discipline, self-control, and self-motivation.

It is your leadership…Own IT!

It is your Leadership…Make and Impact!!!

It is your Leadership…Do it with Character and Integrity!!!!!

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