One of the most critical characteristics of a leader is a commitment to integrity and character. If a leader is willing to lie, cheat, or steal to get ahead, success is always short-term because no one will continue following someone who does not lead with integrity.
Integrity is the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles. I can promise you that nothing will break an organization down faster than a leader who is willing to sacrifice morality for money.
Another definition of integrity is the condition of being whole and undivided. It’s being the same person when you’re in front of your organization as you are when the organization isn’t around.
A cardinal rule that corresponds with this Leadership Law is: Never talk behind anyone’s back in your organization. When someone hears you bad-mouthing a colleague when he or she isn’t around, that person will forever wonder if you also bad-mouth him or her. If people in your organization have even the slightest hint that you are not a loyal leader, they will not follow you for much longer.
When you always do the right thing, your team sees that. They have confidence and faith and will follow you through thick or thin, no matter what the circumstances are.
No other leadership principle is as important as integrity. With that being said, what does integrity mean to you? For me it is doing the right thing, when it is not in your best interests.