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Bob has a way of dealing with people. If a peer asks for his help, he gives only a little. If he makes a mistake, he shifts the blame. When he is told something in confidence, he often breaks that confidence. In short, Bob lacks integrity.

To become a strong and effective leader, you must gain the trust and confidence of your peers and superiors by demonstrating your integrity. Integrity is demonstrated by what you say, do, and believe.

Integrity in What You Say
The first way to demonstrate integrity is through words. Keep your promises. Whether that means maintaining a confidence or completing a project by a promised date, doing what you have said you will do is essential to your credibility.

Integrity in What You Do
The second way to demonstrate integrity is through actions. To become an effective leader, you must act consistently. Treat everyone in a fair and equitable manner, and avoid sudden displays of emotion. Moody managers and those who appear to play favorites will fail when it comes to building trust and inspiring confidence.

Other effective actions are to show support for the behaviors you want to encourage and avoid undo criticism. When you have to criticize, do it constructively. Try to turn mistakes into learning opportunities. When you disagree with something, say so, but do it in a way that shows your willingness to consider other options and ideas.

Integrity in What You Believe
The third way to demonstrate integrity is through beliefs. What you believe is reflected in what you say and what you do. When your words and actions fail to coincide with what you profess to believe, you lose credibility. As a leader, you must guard against compromising the beliefs you profess to hold. This may be difficult when you are faced with a challenge. But remember, revenge, pride and the desire to retain power are poor substitutes for integrity.

To build trust and confidence in your leadership abilities, you must demonstrate your integrity. Not in a hurried, forced, unnatural way but over time as the opportunities arise. You can demonstrate your integrity effectively by what you say, what you do, and what you believe.

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