Have the courage to say no. Have the courage to face the truth. Do the right thing because it is right. These are the magic keys to living your life with integrity.

— W. Clement Stone

Often the second descriptor of a leader with high EQ is that she or he has Integrity. Integrity is one of the necessary conditions for effective leadership and relationships. Without it, a person is building his or her house on sand. Even if acts of dishonesty or malfeasance are not noticed by others, living a life which lacks integrity is soul and character damaging. Ideally the importance of Integrity is learned early in life when the consequences of lapses of honesty are less severe. Maintaining integrity is much easier than rebuilding a besmirched reputation; when you have it, be true to yourself to keep it.

If any of these behaviors are true of you or associates with whom you work, you’ll find action tips at

  • Inconsistent in keeping promises or confidences (“Psst, don’t tell anyone, but…”)
  • Self-serving and self-promoting; acts more in service of personal interests than the stated organizational values
  • Shows little tolerance for challenges or inquiry into questionable behavior or decisions
  • Behaves in such a way as to give the appearance of impropriety, often acting in ways contrary to the “greater good of all” or the best interests of the organization
  • Cannot be relied upon to the tell the truth; may lie by omission when the truth is inconvenient

Action learning tips and learning assignments on the job are a click away at

You might also consider (a sampling of suggestions from ):

Cloud, Henry. Integrity: The Courage to Meet the Demands of Reality. New York: Harper Paperbacks, 2009.

Lavenia, John. Integrity Is Everything: Regain Your Natural Ability to Get Everything You Want. Charleston, SC: BookSurge, 2009.

Simons, Tony. The Integrity Dividend: Leading by the Power of Your Word. New York: Jossey-Bass, 2008.

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