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The Role Of Integrity In Leadership

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According to Barth Nnaji, integrity is an important core value for leadership. When we are faced with challenge or opposition, leaders can always trust in their integrity to represent themselves as reliable individuals. One main difference when it comes to manager and an ethical leader is the commitment to their sense of integrity and the sense of a strong responsibility to resist temptation. Barth stated that true leaders adhere to their own values and encourage their own integrity as “currency” which is required to get things done in collaboration with others. Leaders that consider their own reputations as one of their main assets tries to protect the way others see them by making sure they remain true to the expectations for their integrity. In so doing, people who lead with integrity become people with whom others wish to relate with and compared with.

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American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language defines integrity as a rigid adherence to a code of behavior. Its Latin word is integritas which means ‘completeness, purity.’ People of integrity does whatever they do because they are who they are. They are the same whether they are in private or in public, they are the same when things are easy or difficult. He tends to be real and do not pretend to be something they are not. The Old Testament’s word for integrity is tummah and it captures the simplicity or innocence of life with completeness. Both the Old and New Testaments emphasizes the reality that only Jesus Christ is sinless, integrity for Christians doesn’t mean we have to be sinlessness, but we should be sincere in everything we do.

David prays in Psalm 25:21, ‘Let integrity and uprightness preserve me; for I wait on thee.’ This verse talks about the importance of intimate trust, humble repentance, and holy desire. Also, in Psalm 26:1-3, David outlined ways he has displayed his integrity, but he starts at the root of it, his heart relationship to God. ‘Judge me, O LORD; for I have walked in mine integrity: I have trusted also in the LORD; therefore, I shall not slide. Examine me, O LORD, and prove me; try my reins and my heart. For thy lovingkindness is before mine eyes: and I have walked in thy truth.’ I believe that no matter where we are, our integrity must reside in our heart, at home, and the pulpit. First, we must forge integrity in the heart, it is impossible to do that without God’s redeeming grace. A minister of God’s Word has a duty to live under the continuous danger of becoming a professional Christian leader rather than a true man of God. The Bible makes it clear that part of the credentials for pastors and deacons is to have integrity at home. Our behavior at homes shows others if we are fit for ministry or not. It’s good thing for pastors to see their own family among the congregation of God’s people. In that way, they can observe if the man if God really practices what they preach by their lifestyle at home.

As ministers of the Word, our lifestyle should still reflect that we are people of integrity. In the pulpit, religious dealers abounded in the apostles’ day just as they do in ours today. Many prevalent models of ministry in today’s world lack the integrity as Paul pointed out in I Thessalonians 2:3-6: For our exhortation was not of deceit, nor of uncleanness, nor in guile: but as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts. For neither at any time used we flattering words, as ye know, nor a cloke of covetousness; God is witness: nor of men sought we glory, neither of you, nor yet of others, when we might have been burdensome, as the apostles of Christ.

Whenever a man of integrity teaches and preaches the Word of God, he is strongly aware that whatever he says is to be the oracles of God. It makes the pulpit an altar and not a throne. In the pulpit, self is sacrificed so that God can be glorified. I believe integrity survives only where He reigns. Just as the word ‘trust,’ which has different meaning to different people that are in different situations, and this is the same with the word ‘integrity.’ When the word integrity is used, it is typically talking about our own integrity or someone else’s personal integrity, instead than intellectual, professional, and artistic integrity. In order to better understand how integrity influences trust at work, it’s important to understand the difference between personal and behavioral integrity. Personal integrity relays a person’s character, and ethical principles but behavioral integrity is how one is perceived by other people, based on how behavior lines up with words.

To further explain the difference between personal and behavioral integrity, let us reflect on this two examples. A person being a vegan demonstrates personal integrity is. Not being able to eat or use animal products is a personal decision. Your decisions are self-integrated based on your own moral belief. You may choose to share your belief with others or not. Becoming a vegan is a way you turn your life around based on your principles, being able to place restrictions on yourself. Your vegan lifestyle won’t increase or decrease your friends trust in you, though some may admire your values. You being a vegan is all about you not them. That’s not to say people with personal integrity are not able to build trust. But not by using personal integrity alone. Being a parent is a perfect example of behavioral integrity. For example, when your 5-year-old doesn’t agree to pick up his toys and start throwing a tantrum. You tell him he won’t be getting a bedtime story unless he picks up his toys. After struggle back and forth with him, you eventually gave in and read him a bed-time story. This example does not have any moral issue; its shows behavior-consistency. What you said and did were not aligned. The regularity of your word-action behavior will guide his future decision whether to trust that your words will be backed by what you do. When it comes to work, our personal integrity isn’t enough, we must demonstrate by our actions.

Here are somethings to take-away for anyone wanting trusted work relationships, personal integrity is mainly a relationship a person has with his or herself. It’s your own combined sense of identity within a moral context. And behavioral integrity is how your stated principles or values are watched by them. Behavioral integrity is the personal discernments others have of how credible you are. Behavioral integrity is not bent in what a person believe is morally right or wrong because a person may believe one thing and do another. It’s arbitrated against the backdrop of your words, not unspoken values, standards, or principles. Behavioral integrity isn’t doing what’s right but doing what you say you’ll do. If you want to be trusted at work, you should examine yourself to see whether you’re good at your job or not. Consistency matters and can affect people’s interpretation of your behavior over time. It can affect it both positively or negatively.

In conclusion, integrity means completeness and soundness. You have integrity if you are able to complete a job even when no one is looking. You have integrity if you were able to keep to your word even when no one checks up on you. You have integrity if you can keep your promises. Integrity means the absence of deception and is the opposite of hypocrisy. If you are a person of integrity, you will do what you say. You will do your best to keep to what you declares to do. Being a person of integrity also includes being financially accountable, it means being personally reliable, and private purity. A person with integrity does not manipulate and use others wrongfully. He is not prone towards conceit or self-praise. Integrity had the tendency to invite positive and necessary criticism because it brings about accountability.

When you are known as a person of great integrity, you gain trust and respect from the people around you.

Integrity is not just important on a personal level, it is also important on a workplace level. Many organizations that are known for their integrity tend to perform better. No customer wants to deal with an organization that doesn’t keep to their words, or organization that says one thing but does another. Instead they would want to work with the organizations that can be trusted to follow through with what they have agreed on doing, organization that have a good brand name and trustworthy employees. Integrity is important to the secular and Biblical world. Pastoral integrity and character should bend on the strong foundation of biblical truth. If we are able to fill our lives with the Holy Spirit and seek God’s will for our lives through his Word, the4 Lord will surely help us to maintain biblical integrity and character.

07 September 2020

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