Integrity can be considered as the condition of “not doing what’s wrong.” Character can be defined as doing the right thing for the mere reason that it is the right thing, even if that thing is difficult and unpopular. The two sewn together make honour. Author Jeff O’Leary, in The Centurion Principles, writes, “Honour’ encompasses the virtue of integrity and honesty, self-denial, loyalty, and a servant’s humility to those in authority above as well as a just and merciful heart to those below.”
Honour is such a rarely used word in our times that it seems a little old-fashioned. But living a life of integrity and character is timeless and, for a leader, absolutely necessary. It’s about choices, and a person’s choices in life follow him to the grave.
Is this to say that a person needs to be perfect to become a leader? Of course not. Perfection in this life is not possible, and we, the authors, are certainly not exceptions. However, a leader must strive continually toward perfection even though she knows she can never attain it. It is a question of the heart. The most effective leaders throughout history have led with their hearts, in trust, and with honour. If a leader cuts corners, misuses people, or misrepresents the truth, a time bomb begins ticking. Someday, somewhere, the bomb will go off. It is obvious in our times only too often: public figures at the pinnacle of power and fame crash and burn in a cloud of self-inflicted shame. From political scandals to high-profile corporate frauds, these calamities are brought on by a lack of honour in the leadership.
“If you aren’t yet at the point of clarity, then make that your first goal. It’s a big waste of time to go through life being unclear about what you want. Most people will wallow way too long in the … Continue reading