Leadership: 4 Ways to Act With Integrity And Humility

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There are so many facets to being a good leader. I think that in order to be a good leader, it is important to act with Integrity and Humility in all that you do. You have to remind yourself that success is earned, not bestowed.

Being in a position of leadership is hard work and you need to keep earning it every day. Consider it to be a privilege, not a right.

What exactly is acting with integrity and humility? First you have to understand their meanings.

Integrity is doing what you say you’ll do. It is walking the talk.

Humility is recognizing that some ideas will come from other people. It is being able to admit when you make a mistake. It is also learning from the mistakes of others. It is your moral compass.

Here are 4 ways to act with integrity and humility as a leader:

1) Accept praise but remain skeptical. A good way to remain skeptical is to listen to your friends – friends are not afraid to be honest with each other and give it to each other straight. Senior leaders need the friendship of 1 or 2 close colleagues whom they trust to tell the truth to them.

2) Reflect on your shortcomings. Take time out weekly to gain perspective on whether what you are doing is valuable. Look at mistakes you have made. How you have treated others? What can you improve upon? What can you do differently?

3) Look for reasons to praise and compliment others on your team. Be genuine and authentic in your praises.

4) Look for ways to help others to succeed and become successful.

“It is said that it is far more difficult to hold and maintain leadership (liberty) that it is to attain it. Success is a ruthless competitor for it flatters and nourishes our weaknesses and lulls us into complacency. We bask in the sunshine of accomplishment and lose the spirit of humility which helps us visualize all the factors which have contributed to our success. We are apt to forget that we are only one of a team, that in unity there is strength and that we are strong only as long as each unit in our organization functions with precision.”
— Samuel Tilden
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11 comments

  1. Jon Mertz – Jon is a thought entrepreneur, named one of the Top 100 Thought Leaders in Trustworthy Business by Trust Across America, 2014 – 2016, and highlighted as a “Leader to Watch” in 2015 by the American Management Association. His background includes leadership roles for entrepreneurial and enterprise companies – Corepoint Health, Deloitte, and IBM – along with serving in Washington, DC, in various political appointments. Jon is pursuing a doctorate in interdisciplinary leadership at Creighton University.
    Jon Mertz says:

    Excellent points, Chantal. Integrity and humility are essential leadership traits; both keep us centered and wanting to lead in better ways. Active, focused listening is another important way to lead with integrity and humility. In being an active listener, we need to as a lot of meaningful questions. It is a great way to build partnerships with people and learn a great deal from them. Thanks! Jon

    • Chantal Bechervaise – Outaouais Region - Canada – I blog about everything surrounding the world of work and how it intersects with personal life. Topics include: HR, Leadership, Social Media, Technology, Work-Life Balance, Employee Engagement, Workplace Culture and Achieving Success and Happiness. It is all about your own personal balance and what is appropriate for you. I also love the outdoors and reconnecting with nature.
      Chantal Bechervaise says:

      Thank you for your comment Jon! Yes, active listening is another important way to lead with integrity and humility. Too many leaders and people just wait to speak but did not reiterate what they have heard in the conversation. Very good point.

    • Chantal Bechervaise – Outaouais Region - Canada – I blog about everything surrounding the world of work and how it intersects with personal life. Topics include: HR, Leadership, Social Media, Technology, Work-Life Balance, Employee Engagement, Workplace Culture and Achieving Success and Happiness. It is all about your own personal balance and what is appropriate for you. I also love the outdoors and reconnecting with nature.
      Chantal Bechervaise says:

      Thank you Lolly! I appreciate the time that you take to respond and comment on my posts.

  2. Lalita Raman – I’m a Business. Leadership & Executive Coach & Consultant in that I help Businesses and Executives at Corporates make transformation & change. I help people access what they know – it’s About reinventing oneself, creating new stories, new identities and a new future. My core belief in coaching is that You are unique You must become a Champion of your own life. Each of us have been blessed with immeasurable power to make positive changes in our lives. But we have to Be it, Live it, Do it. We live once and life has taught me that little and simple pleasures do matter. Walking bare feet on the sand in a beach, a challenging hike, the aroma of fresh air whilst enjoying being up close and personal with nature and spending time with family and friends are few of my simple pleasures. http://lalitaraman.com is my views on various aspects of life, my passions, my concerns on treatment of women. http://transitionsintl.com is my Co. website on Coaching.
    Lalita Raman says:

    Lovely post Chantal. To praise, appreciate and encourage others matters and it makes a big difference in our day-to-day lives. It is a simple act by the giver but makes a huge positive impact on the receiver. To lead with humility and integrity is to be a true human being.

    • Chantal Bechervaise – Outaouais Region - Canada – I blog about everything surrounding the world of work and how it intersects with personal life. Topics include: HR, Leadership, Social Media, Technology, Work-Life Balance, Employee Engagement, Workplace Culture and Achieving Success and Happiness. It is all about your own personal balance and what is appropriate for you. I also love the outdoors and reconnecting with nature.
      Chantal Bechervaise says:

      Thank you Lalita!! I appreciate the time you took to comment and agree that taking time to encourage others makes a big difference.

  3. Terrific post, Chantal! Having humility and integrity are essential for all leaders as they humanize the person. I have found that we need to spend more time praising others and advocating for them. There is no better feeling than to know that someone else believes in us and supports our growth.
    Thanks!

  4. Loved your post, Chantal! Humility and integrity are two critical qualities for leaders…someone needs to send that memo to our politicians!

    Lacking humility is pretending you are your own God. Can’t happen, folks….

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