Creating a Culture of Integrity By Marcia Zidle
Recently I asked a leader onÂ The Business EdgeÂ what are some of the lessons learned from your years of experience. He answered this:
You need a high level of personal integrity. As you move higher up in the organization, your actions gain more meaning and impact, so you need to be true to your core, which is shaped by your values, upbringing and business experiences. Youâve got to stick to that core and when you donât, you can get negative or undesirable outcomes.
My whole philosophy centers on the impact I have on others. I believe itâs important to be honest and to establish trust between management and employees. People follow leaders and if you violate their trust, people wonât follow you anymore.
Â How I Learned It:
I once asked a respected leader what advice heâd give to young executives. He said, âAlways do whatâs right for the company first, whatâs right for the work group second and whatâs right for you third.â If you practice this, people will never challenge your motives. It all comes back to staying true to your core and having a high level of personal credibility.
How I Pass It On:
Role models need to walk the talk. Many of our jobs have stressful moments where you have to make decisions and sometimes the right decision is more challenging. People are expecting you to do the right thing; you absolutely have to, even if itâs difficult.
Leaders must be accountable and take responsibility for their actions. There might be cases where I am at fault, and at these times more than ever, I have to be transparent and truthful. This neutralizes the situation so that we can focus on finding solutions to the problem.
Smart Moves Tip:
Actions of the leadership will have more effect on how employees behave than any vision statement or corporate policy which tells them how they are ‘supposed’ to behave. Chances are they already know how they are ‘supposed’ to behave. Create a culture of integrityÂ by way of your own actionsÂ will have more effect on your people to behave in the way you want them to.
Marcia Zidle, the smart moves executive coach and speaker, is host of The Business EdgeÂ on the Voice America Business Network. The show features the Smart Growth System providing small to medium sized businesses the proper foundation for expansion: a Growth Agenda that becomes their roadmap, a Growth Engine that attracts and engages the best talent and Growth Leaders that make it happen. Marcia, the CEO of Leaders At All Levels, brings street smarts to help businesses get on the right track and not get sidetracked on their path to higher performance and profitability.