This week’s leadership topic is integrity. To get us started thinking about it, consider this passage for 1 Samuel 12. Samuel, the spiritual leader of Israel, has turned over the leadership of Israel to Saul, the new king. As Samuel bids farewell to the people, he says this:
Samuel said to all Israel, “I have listened to everything you said to me and have set a king over you. Now you have a king as your leader. As for me, I am old and gray, and my sons are here with you. I have been your leader from my youth until this day. Here I stand. Testify against me in the presence of the Lord and his anointed. Whose ox have I taken? Whose donkey have I taken? Whom have I cheated? Whom have I oppressed? From whose hand have I accepted a bribe to make me shut my eyes? If I have done any of these things, I will make it right.”
“You have not cheated or oppressed us,” they replied. “You have not taken anything from anyone’s hand.” (1 Samuel 12:1-4)
After a lifetime of leadership, the one thing Samuel points to is his integrity. Nothing else matters. Leadership gurus Kouzes and Posner surveyed thousands of people over the years, and discovered that in almost every survey, integrity was the most desirable leadership trait. Nothing else matters if you don’t have integrity. (See their book Credibility: How Leaders Gain and Lose It.)
So how do you maintain your integrity?
What strategies do you have in place to guard your most valuable asset?