Posted by: tucsonjefe | December 10, 2006

Leadership thoughts: Integrity

Though our elections are behind us, I am still studying on the subject of leadership.  Nearly every article I read says that integrity is required in a leader.  I have to think that there are leaders, that is people who influence other people, who do not have integrity.  There are successful dictators who are evil, politicians who are perverts, and preachers who are thieves.  They manage to lead people, at least for a while, but they are not what we would call people of integrity.  As Christians, we want something in our leaders that goes beyond the ability to motivate people.  We are looking for someone who shares our basic values, a person we can trust to lead is in a direction that reflects who we are.  I guess the word that sticks out in that sentence is “trust.”  We want leaders we feel we can have faith in.  We want to know they will do things in an upright way and care for our interests, not solely their own.  Most of us are mature enough to know that no one is going to behave perfectly all the time, or be right in every decision, but we want to have some sense that our leaders are well-motivated and committed to principles we share.  When we hear the word “integrity,” we know that this describes something we want in a leader. Integrity, like most words, means different things to different people.  The dictionary says that integrity is used in engineering to describe the strength and stability of a structure.  In mathematics it is a number that is not divided – it is whole.  In referring to character, its synonyms are honesty and reliability and uprightness.  Its opposites include distortion and viciousness.  The idea is one of wholeness, truth, and clarity expressed without rancor. A man of integrity is one who is not deceitful, moved by hidden agendas, or trying to cover himself.  We are talking about “what you see is what you get.”  Can you imagine a politician who fits this description?  What if there were no attempts to cover up when mistakes were made?  What if political parties were secondary to justice?  What if a guy just stood up and said, “I made some serious mistakes when I was young, just like you did, but I survived and learned”  “I had a life-changing encounter with Jesus Christ.”  I’m not sure what to do, but I will do my best to gather information and solid advice.”  “We must protect ourselves from the adherents of a twisted and demonic religion.”  “Education is too valuable to be left in the hands of a special-interest group composed of teachers.”  “Government is more often the problem than the solution.”  Is there hope for a leader who tells the truth and acts with honor and humility?  I hope so. 

Scripture Reading:       Pro 11:3  The integrity of the honest keeps them on track; the deviousness of crooks brings them to ruin. 

Somebody Said:       Integrity without knowledge is weak and useless, and knowledge without integrity is dangerous and dreadful.  — Samuel Johnson 

Sometimes I despair of finding real leadership at the national level.  Maybe those days are gone.  But perhaps we should start small.  How about a drive to promote integrity in our homes, our businesses and our churches?  Then we can take over the world




  1. Your blog is interesting!

    Keep up the good work!

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