Keep Yourself On the Right Path
The Centre for Creative Leadership conducted a research to examine the importance of character strengths in leadership performance across various organizations. Four character traits were found to be essentials for great leaders. Topmost on the list was integrity followed by bravery, perspective, and social intelligence. The study further stressed that integrity was the most important character trait for top-level executives’ performance.
In the words of C.S Lewis, “integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching” and the reality in our world today emphasizes the need for more people with integrity at every level of the society. Good enough, we have some great leaders to look up to even in our clime.
One of such leaders was the first democratically elected governor of Lagos State from 1979 to 1983 – Alhaji Lateef Kayode Jakande. Popularly referred to as Action Governor, Alhaji Jakande was a well-respected journalist known for his forthrightness and dedication to work even before he became a successful politician and public figure. Close associates attest that he had a tremendous work ethic and zero tolerance for laziness which reflected in the laudable social-oriented programmes he executed while in political office. His legacy especially in the areas of Education, Housing and social infrastructure set Lagos State on a prestigious pedestal among other states in the country. Most political commentators and historians agree that his administration was effective, transparent and accountable. These traits truly represent his character as a man of modest lifestyle. He is regarded till date as one of the Nigerians with unquestioned integrity. This trait has set him apart as a true leader and role model to many people.
In a world where it seems easier to be dishonest and cut corners, one thing that can set you apart is a lifestyle of integrity. This lifestyle makes you live in a manner that is consistent with your values, beliefs and purpose. It also helps you to influence, inspire and motivate others; not just with your words but also with your actions. Friend, living a life of integrity is a lifetime commitment but I will show you 3 ways to get started:
- Keep Good Company
You must have heard the statement; “bad company corrupts good manners.” Yes! To a large extent, you are a reflection of the people you surround yourself with. In fact, your association among other factors determines the direction and outcome of your life. You should keep company with honourable people, who will support and inspire you to become a better person.
- Be Honest And Honour Your Words
A life of integrity is characterized by honesty. Making it a practice of speaking the truth regardless of the situation improves your credibility. In addition, always honour your words, let your actions march with what you say. Every time you make a promise, you put your honour and integrity on the line. Keeping that promise should be as important to you as it is to your audience.
- Accept Personal Responsibility
Nicole Guillaume once said, “Everyone makes mistakes, but only a person with integrity owns up to them.” A life of integrity doesn’t mean we can’t make mistakes. We all miss it sometimes but when we do, we must be prepared to accept the consequences for our actions and be quick to make necessary amends.
Always bear in mind that your integrity will keep you on the right path and open up opportunities for you to live a value-adding life.
Remember, You Have Only One Life to Live. MAKE IT COUNT!