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Leading With Integrity

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“The most important persuasion tool you have in your entire arsenal is integrity” – Zig Zigler

There are many ways to become a successful leader. Great leaders, regardless of their roots or path in life have a common attribute – they are trustworthy and honest. Integrity is particularly important for those who rely heavily upon influence to achieve their objectives. A great example of this type of role is that of a product manager. Our data shows that only 19% of product managers have profit and loss responsibility, as such, almost all product managers are heavily dependent upon trust and influence.

There is more to integrity than honesty and trustworthiness. The signs of integrity manifest themselves in a range of additional attributes including; open communication, transparency, and ethical decision-making.

Personal accountability is a key component of integrity as well. When a leader, regardless of position in the organization, exemplifies these qualities and holds themselves accountable to practicing honesty and ethical decision-making it often triggers positive organizational karma.

The Characteristics of Integrity

  • Humility: Titles don’t guarantee respect. What counts is a leader’s ability to show commitment every day through sincere collaboration, visible dedication to common efforts, effective interpersonal skills and team play.
  • Help Others Succeed: Great product managers and leaders help their teams shine! They encourage others to share the spotlight. When leaders attempt to promote themselves by taking credit for their subordinates work unjustly others see through it. Fostering a culture of modesty and demonstrating intolerance for bullying or nastiness helps set the stage for success.
  • Nurture Trust: Hire people smarter than yourself and get out of their way. Great leaders build strong teams and know their own developmental areas. Supplementing your team with complimentary people and skills shows maturity. This also requires the right mix of delegation and hands-on control. Striking the improper balance signifies a lack of trust.
  • Encourage Calculated Risk Taking: Great leaders encourage risk taking and ensure that the organization learns from failures or mistakes. This includes fully vetting a wide range of ideas while suspending judgement. Punitive leadership and cultures erode trust and a willingness to take chances and innovate. These can be toxic to success.
  • Demonstrate Continuous Learning: Change is the one constant. Exemplify continuous learning and share your knowledge. Encourage others to reach broadly and to bring that knowledge back into the organization. It helps to remember that markets are dynamic, they live and breathe. Standing still means you are likely to be left behind.
  • Practice What You Preach: Integrity should not stop in your workplace it should be your mantra in all aspects of your life.


Inspired by an article written by Adelia Cellini Linecker in IBD, Feb. 2016

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