Do you lead with integrity

  • Published
  • By Senior Master Pearletta Ullrich
  • 301st Aircraft Maintenance Squadron
We are all educated about the many leadership methods and programs such as books, the academies, and seminars that are available. The best lessons on leadership are based on experience. However, observing another's experience can provide us valuable lessons. There's a common thread in leadership programs and experience -- that common link is "integrity". Integrity is absolute in wholeness, honesty, and trust. Our values will be viewed as injustice, falsehoods, hidden agendas and prejudices without integrity. 

A leader moves a subordinate member into another position under a different leader with the perception that the individual is being rewarded, while in silence, the intent being to dump his problems on someone else. A true leader would talk openly to the subordinate about their shortcomings. What is the greater good? 

A leader endorses a subordinate member for a promotional opportunity by signing recommendations with the intent to provide access to their leaders and to legitimize publicly running down that member's performance, attempting to ensure a negative future for that member. A true leader would not write a recommendation for a subordinate and then recommend to the hierarchy not to recommend. What is the greater good? 

A leader displays symbols of hate towards race, gender, age, class status, or religious beliefs for the purpose of "fun" or the leader, who keeps walking while observing an inappropriate touch. A true leader would not forego addressing the incident even if the potential victim said it was okay, because in our professional environment, it is never okay. What is the greater good? 

A leader that selects their favorite for an opportunity and that favorite does not live up to the tasks; silently they disappear, perhaps into the civilian world or sometimes another unit. A true leader would choose the best person for the job and start coaching their favorite to be better. What is the greater good? 

We are all in a profession that gives us the right to legally kill another human being. Integrity cannot be compromised. Integrity must be absolute in wholeness, honesty, and trust. Integrity is the only thing that cannot be stolen or taken away from you. You lose your integrity when you give it away. A leader's character and their actions are judged based upon their expectations for the greater good. 

Do you lead with integrity?