Influence without Integrity will doom even the best teams

Integrity is how you act when no one else is in the room.  It defines who you are and how you are perceived by others.  And, it can determine how successful your team performs or what you personally achieve.  John Wooden was the Hall of Fame coach of the UCLA Bruins basketball teams of the 60’s and 70’s.  His teams won many national championships.  He spoke often of one’s character, or their integrity.

“Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.”  – John Wooden –

Today, we look at the relationship of influence and integrity when it comes to leadership.

Influence without integrity leads to forced compliance and limited achievement”

Have you ever heard the statement a player makes about a coach, “I would run through a brick wall for my coach.”  The individual making this comment usually follows that comment with something like, “He/She is tough and challenging, but I know that he/she only wants the very best for me.  He/She wants me to be the very best I can be.  I would do anything to make him/her successful.”  That is an example of influencing with integrity!

Influence is easy, especially when you manage someone.  You simply tell the person what to do, how to do it, and when it must be done.  You can influence by dictate.  However, a great leader is one that “gets you to do what you don’t necessarily want to do and feel good about it.”  That’s leadership.  And, you can only get to this point if you have integrity.  Integrity cannot be commanded, dictated, or assumed.  It is earned!  Integrity comes over a period of time when you demonstrate in both small and large decisions and actions that you will do the right thing.  Integrity means that you are honest and adhere to a set of moral values.  It means you will always do the right thing even when no one is looking.

When you establish a baseline of integrity in how you act and in what you do, you gain a level of voluntary influence that attracts others.  You become that individual that others seek for advice, that individuals desire to work with… and that others will do anything for to achieve success.  Without integrity, any influence you might have is typically short-term, limited, and will not generate the motivation from others needed to attain that top performance and success we strive to achieve.

If your team is not performing to the level you hope, could it be that you have not established the level of integrity (thus, trust) needed?  Here are some helpful hints that you might consider to enhance your own integrity:

  • Meet with your team members one-on-one or in small groups – be vulnerable and allow them to get to know you (that means your personality, likes, desires, concerns, etc.)
  • Ask for the advice, opinion, or thoughts from members of your team
  • If you know you have done something to hamper your integrity, admit it and ask for a second chance — then, make them glad they allowed a second chance
  • Begin spending more “on-the-floor” time with your team members – nothing builds integrity like time together
  • Do something special for individuals and/or the team – begin adding value to their individual lives
  • Do something intentional to support your team – fix an issue that has plagued the team or individuals
  • Begin today —- Do what you say you will do and when you said you would do it!

Have one of your “best days yet”!

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