The Most Vital Ingredient of Leadership: INTEGRITY

The tragedy in today’s world is that we are shocked by ‘Integrity’ and not by dishonesty. The normal belief in today’s world is that it’s alright to lie, to steal, to fake oneself. When there is lack of integrity, it hurts somebody. Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching.

A wedding I once attended, where the family in the rush of the moment forgot to take the gold jewelries out of the taxi. They thought they would never get it back, two hours later, the taxi driver comes back and returns it. Everyone was shocked. The bride’s father  said to the driver, “Not everyone is like you.”

In our world we see too often the lack of integrity, you look at our church leaders, politicians, even athletes.


An Integral life is when what you say lines up with what you do. Your Private life is consistent with public life. Who you are when no one is looking.

The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity. Proverbs 11:3

Lord, who may dwell in your sanctuary?… 2 He whose walk is blameless and who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from his heart 3 and has no slander on his tongue, who does his neighbour no wrong and casts no slur on his fellowman, 4 who despises a vile man but honours those who fear the Lord, who keeps his oath even when it hurts, 5 who lends his money without usury and does not accept a bribe against the innocent. He who does these things will never be shaken. Psalm 15:1-5


  1. Builds trust with people.
  2. Integrity means living it out myself before leading others.
  3. Integrity results in a solid reputation, not just image.
  4. Has high influence on others around.
  5. Integrity facilitates high standards.
  6. Integrity helps a leader be credible, not just clever.

If integrity is when your behaviour matches your beliefs, then a good question would be: what is the opposite of Integrity?


The word originates from the Greek word hupokritēs meaning ‘actor’.  An actor is a person who plays a character who he/she is really not in person.  Jesus was harder on hypocrites than prostitutes, adulterers.

“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. 26 Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean…28 In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.” – Matthew 23:25-26, 28

Why was he so hard on them? Because their actions didn’t match what they were preaching.


Are you willing to risk Integrity to take a gamble for benefit? Are you willing to:

  • Lying on a resume/C.V to get a job.
  • Over charge something on the bill
  • Bend values for benefits.
  • Steal money from your home, work or friends.
  • Exaggerating about something just to be liked by peers.
  • Falsifying an expense report.
  • Cheat to get better grade/marks
  • Shop, but don’t pay by hiding the product out.
  • Watching pornography.
  • Verbally abusing or having slanderous tongue.


Often the first step towards integrity is admitting your lack of it. So apologise, ask forgiveness and start doing what is right.

Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ be ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one. – Matthew 5:37

We align our hearts, words and actions with God’s Word.


I know, my God, that you test the heart and are pleased with integrity. – 1 Chronicles 29:17

“I put in charge of Jerusalem my brother Hanani, along with Hananiah the commander of the citadel, because he was a man of integrity and feared God more than most men do.” – Nehemiah 7:2

“May integrity and uprightness protect me, because my hope is in you.” – Psalm 25:21

“…I will not deny my integrity. 6 I will maintain my righteousness and never let go of it; my conscience will not reproach me as long as I live.” – Job 27:5-6

To Job, integrity meant everything. Integrity is easier to keep than to recover. Our reputation for ten years could be determined in actions that take ten minutes! Your success doesn’t prove integrity, it reveals it. So live the life that your friends can defend but rarely have to.

You will only become what you are becoming right now. - John C. Maxwell Click To Tweet
Our reputation for ten years could be determined in actions that take ten minutes! - Warren Buffett Click To Tweet
Your success doesn’t prove integrity, it reveals it. Click To Tweet
Live the life that your friends can defend but rarely have to. Click To Tweet

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Mayur Doriel

Mayur Doriel is an award winning Graphic Designer & Social Media Analyst working in Kolkata, India. He is also a Youth Leader & Trainer, who loves doing Youth Ministry in the trenches. In his free time, Mayur is an avid reader, a movie buff, a foodie and loves meeting new people.
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