One of the most important characteristics of leadership is integrity. Integrity means you are true to your word in all you do and people can trust you because you do what you say.
The word integrity has deep meaning and is often intermingled with words like honesty and truthfulness. It connotes a deep commitment to do the right thing for the right reason, regardless of the circumstances. People who live with integrity are incorruptible and incapable of breaking the trust of those who have confided in them. Every human is born with a conscience and therefore the ability to know right from wrong. Choosing the right, regardless of the consequences, is the hallmark of integrity.
In a recent Forbes article, Karl Moore and Chatham Sullivan discuss what integrity means and why it’s so important:
Integrity is that particular quality of character that occurs when a person stays true to their commitments. This means that a person—and in some cases an entire organization—has a point of view about what matters. They declare something of value and they stick to that endorsement. They do what they say. They stand for something, even if, and especially if, they stand to lose something in the process.
Integrity builds character, which creates the foundation of great leadership. Coach John Wooden said it well: “Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.” And Moore and Sullivan go on to say: “Nothing matters more than integrity at the top. It is the rock foundation for good leadership.
Live with integrity; lead with integrity.
The Product Management Perspective: Product managers play a key role in the success of a company. It’s crucial for product managers to build trust with the teams they work with and depend on. Trust grows through meaningful interaction with your teams and consistent application of proven principles. Developing trust and leading with integrity will increase the confidence others have in your work. When engineers, salespeople, marketers and others have confidence in the product manager, they do amazing work for the product.