Are you Leading With Honor? While on Twitter yesterday, someone posted a reply to me that said leadership is “influence with integrity.” I like that definition a lot. Influence alone is dangerous, and while integrity without influence may get you the Good Samaritan award, it won’t result in anything useful getting done.

The problem with this definition is that integrity can mean different things to different people. While most of us today think that Hitler was a crazed fanatic, there were those at the time who followed him with pride. His followers would say that he had integrity. We can say the same thing for any leader who had a following. Osama Bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, Stalin, or on a scale of less grandeur, there are our business and political leaders such as Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich or Merril Lynch’s former CEO, John Thain.

On National Public Radio the other day, a caller said she had no problem with what Governor Blagojevich did. Why? Because he produced results. She thought that success meant achieving results, regardless of the means. In her opinion Gov. Blagojevich would have been acting without integrity if he didn’t do the things he did, because it prevented him from doing things for the people of Illinois. Most of you (including me) find it hard to believe that someone could think this way, but without a firm definition of integrity that everyone can agree on, this definition for leadership begins to falter.

So my question to you today is how do you know that you are leading with honor? That you are leading with integrity? This is a great topic for discussion at board meetings, staff retreats, or just at a team meeting. You will be surprised at the answers.

In my next few posts, we are going to help you answer this question. Stay tuned….

All the best,
All the time,
JT