Leadership author John C. Maxwell describes developing trust as earning and spending pocket change. Maxwell states: “Each time you make a good leadership decision, it puts change into your pocket. Each time you
make a poor one, you have to pay out some of your change to the people. Every leader has a certain amount of
change in his pocket when he starts in a new leadership position. From then on, he either builds up his change or
pays it out…When you’re out of change, you’re out as a leader.” In this episode of Reflections on Leadership we will explore ways to build workplace credibility in order to build trust.
We know that integrity is vital for effective leadership. There are, however, two common misconceptions that can deceive leaders into thinking they don’t really need to pay attention to cultivating their own integrity. The first is that integrity is just about ethics—it means not cheating, lying, stealing, etc. A second misconception, related to the first, is that you’ve either got it or you don’t. You’re either a good person or you’re not. When we fully understand integrity, we can see that both of these misconceptions are wrong.
Leaders make decisions every day – often with insufficient information, competing demands, and little time. Ethical decision making, however, is at the heart of your integrity as a leader. Sometimes a quick check can help clarify a decision and the extent to which it is, or is not, in line with your principles and those of your organization.