Build Character. Hold Strong to the Importance of Integrity in Leadership

Embrace the importance of integrity in leadership. As a society we desperately need men and women of integrity in leadership.

We need companies, organizations, and institutions that operate in exemplary ways because they have a character-driven workforce and leadership teams where positive character traits aren't just a barely sustainable performance but the consistent reality.


We need to look and see leaders who display privately and publicly a list of character traits that young and old can aspire to. These leaders, executives, managers and professionals lift us up to be something better as a society.

Although it may not always seem like it in our current culture, good people are still attracted to leaders of good character. They are challenged to do better and achieve more. They feel that their commitment and contribution are valued. Leaders with character are seen as role models and valued as individuals. People will give their best to a leader like that and raise themselves to a higher standard for them.

Build character. Seek to be a better person tomorrow than you are today. Deliberately think about how you relate to yourself and those around you and make changes to attitudes and actions that need adjustment. Value the feedback of others on your journey to become a better you.

You always have a choice to change.

You are a leader who can deal with outbursts of irritation or lack of empathy as decisively as you can make a strategic change of direction for your company.

Regularly reintroduce the new, improved you. You will get more from yourself and from those who look to you for leadership.

"We use our busyness as a measure of our self-worth and importance. We define our sense of purpose and our meaning in terms of our to-do list. We've internalized the clear social message that busy people are worthy people, even morally superior people."

Marshall Cook, Time Management

Five Days of Coaching to Encourage Our Hearts, and Challenge Our Minds With the Importance of Integrity in Leadership


Think about the importance of integrity in leadership. Create a list of positive character traits you look for in leaders. Now make a list of character traits you've seen displayed that you don't appreciate.  Apply the two lists to yourself.  Be honest – are there attributes you should watch for and eliminate?

The Coach ask:

  • For you, what does "integrity" mean? What does "character" mean? How do you view the importance of character and integrity in leadership? What informs your thinking around this topic? From where do you draw your understanding of these things. 
  • Do an online search and read a few articles on good character and integrity of leaders. Record your findings and any insights or thoughts it leads to. 
  • Apply your thinking and search to yourself. What do you notice? What, if anything, is actionable out of what you've observed? 
  • Are there any role model leaders who have lived out the type of positive character traits you've been thinking about? Read something about them. What is it that attracts you to them as a role model? 


Today, work on you. Add one or two characteristics to any type of Personal Development Plan you may have, that you will either begin adding to or subtracting from your behavior. Create a plan for implementing these changes and write it down. This plan might encompass changes to general behaviors and attitudes, or it might specifically include actions towards individuals in your sphere of influence.

The Coach ask:

  • Before anything else today, reflect on the fact that character comes from within. It's firstly a heart and mind matter. You don't artificially create "character" and "integrity," externally. It leaks out from within.
  • Make a short list of character traits that you would like to think about, research, and build into our own life. For each on, reflect on what it would take to have each characteristic become a part of who you are. 
  • Make a "From/To" list for each characteristic. You will be moving "from," and moving forward "to?" Don't do this only with the motivation to show up differently for others. Do this primarily to show up differently for you.
  • What are you learning as you pursue "building character?"


Get up today as a different you. Be conscious throughout the day of working on those characteristics you are adding or subtracting. Focus on the importance of integrity in leadership. Remember that if you are going to take away a negative behavior, you will need to replace it with its positive counterpart.

The Coach ask:

  • How can you remain conscious throughout the day or those positive character traits you are working on? 
  • What practical, but possibly challenging, things will you need to do today to reflect this inner change you are going through? 
  • Don't rush. Character change takes honesty. It might take time. Attitudes don't just change at the snap of a finger. Don't beat yourself up, but do remain steadfast in moving forward to become that leader you wish to be.
  • Situations come up. Think of those role models you listed. What did they do when in a situation just like you? How could you benefit from their example? 


Challenge your staff to build character. Done right, this has the potential to change the work environment dramatically. Don't set yourself up as a model to follow but a partner to join with.

The Coach ask:

  • Take some time to think about your staff, maybe your key leaders and then working out from there. What comes to mind when you think of them being men and women of "character" and "integrity?"
  • How could you challenge your staff to join you in developing character? 
  • What could happen as intentionally characterful people engage in work and with the public? What's possible? What's worth aiming for as collective behavior? 
  • Resist the temptation to perform and present yourself as perfect. How can you be transparent in a good way?  


Notice the good characteristics in others. Their character contributes positively to the effectiveness of any team they are a part of. Those character traits that are less desirable can actually restrain a team from operating at its peak potential. While not allowing yourself to become the morality police, determine to encourage and reward positive character building from now on.

The Coach ask:

  • Within your team, how can positive character traits and actions be appreciated? What would lift people up? 
  • When a slide in character shows up, how can you deal with the behavior, without accusing the individual of having the heart of a disreputable character? How can you separate the motive from any particular action? What if the "slide" begins to show up as a "flaw?" What do you do then?
  • What's been the impact on you of considering the importance of integrity in leadership this week? 
  • What will you carry forward from the time spent on this? 

Spiritual Reflection for Christian Leaders


As a Christian Executive Leadership Coach I encourage Christian leaders to reflect on God's Word to add to their wisdom. From the importance of behavior at home to the importance of integrity at work, let the Scriptures inform our thinking. 

  • 1 Tim 3:2  Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own family well ...
  • 1 Tim 4:12  Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. 
  • 1 Tim 6:11  But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.
  • Gal 5:22  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against these things there is no law. 
  • 2 Pt 1:5-8  For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 
  • 1 Cor 15:33  Do not be misled: "Bad company corrupts good character."

If you are a leader, executive, or senior level professional looking to work with a Christian Executive Coach, I invite you to connect with me here.

If appropriate, we can meet by phone or Zoom to discuss your situation.

Record Your Progress

This is your opportunity to track your progress. Start by asking yourself how important this practice is to you? Record the importance as - not at all, somewhat, fairly, highly or extremely. 

Now next to it ask yourself how well you carry out this practice. Record your performance as - very poor, poor, okay, good or very good. 

Importance Performance Check

The things we track, we pay attention to. Across time, come back and record your new results. You will find that as you are intentional about making improvements, you will bump your "score" up higher. 

This is significant. Don't miss the opportunity to acknowledge your success, and use it as a springboard for making even further gain. 



There was only one who was perfect in all his ways, and that was Jesus. 

Having said that, you and I can pursue right and good behavior. We can be men and women of character, those that attract the respect of others.

We can check our hearts and minds, the source of all thought and ultimately all behavior. In examining ourselves we can be intentional about working on positive character traits. What flows from the inside will show up in our everyday behavior. 

What a leader is privately, that is all they are. What we see is either a performance (or at worst a sham) or a natural living out of a private depth of character.  Let's not settle for less than the importance of integrity in leadership. 

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G.E. Wood and Associates is an international coaching firm registered in Ontario, Canada
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