Integrity is a virtue that every leader should aspire to, but we won’t pretend that it is easy or common. In some sense, we can more easily define integrity by what it’s obviously not. It’s not lying.
It’s not stealing. It’s not fudging your accounting, or mistreating your team members, or greenwashing your marketing. It’s not making unsubstantiated claims and false comparisons. It’s not misleading your customers or hiding facts from the public.
All of those are easily grouped into the “lacks integrity” bin of failed leadership.
Five qualities are core to understanding and practicing the virtue of integrity when it comes to leadership: truth-telling, honor, authenticity, trustworthiness, and courage.