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4 Ways Great Leaders Inspire a Culture of Integrity

Updated on August 22, 2016

Individuals who have integrity facilitate trusting relationships with others. By following a few simple guiding principles you can create and inspire integrity in the workplace. A culture of integrity produces a high-value work environment.

The Golden Rule

It is the pillar of many religions and a tenet of social ethics. Treat others as you would like to be treated. The principle is practiced in all aspects of life, however, in the world of business, it is often neglected. The power is in the simplicity and the reciprocal nature. It not only is a way to practice integrity but also to inspire it in those around you.

The Golden Rule



In business, honesty has both obvious as well as subtle implications. It is used almost interchangeably with “integrity,” though it goes deeper. Integrity requires being unafraid of the truth. In business, this is difficult because it often exposes shortcomings that some would prefer remain shaded. When leaders are unafraid of the truth they can take action when there are problems or issues that need improvement. Transparency is an extension of honesty that allows all stakeholders to feel an organization can be trusted.


Often there are legal consequences that necessitate confidentiality but beyond that, it is an important aspect of practicing integrity at work. Creating a culture of confidentiality in the workplace is not easy as it means handling negative practices such as office gossip. Gossip can destroy morale and hurt productivity. Dealing directly with perpetrators and instigators is the most effective way to deter this insidious practice. Confidentiality practices that encourage privacy also instill trust.

Lead By Example

The most important way to inspire integrity at work is to model the behaviors you want to see in your staff. Employees will look to their leaders to see which behaviors are acceptable. By “walking the talk” and leading by example, you can influence the culture and mold your employees in a healthy way.

Integrity is an important goal for any business environment. It requires sensitivity, awareness, and fearlessness, all of which are traits of a great leader.


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