Corporate Leader

Suggestions for Building Leadership Integrity


By: Jeannette Galvanek and Ed Konczal, Vital Relationships LLC.


  • Integrity starts with Board of Directors who develops a statement of ethical practices and demand adherence. Anyone guilty of violating these practices must be publicly “beheaded” in a manner similar to what Jack Welch did at GE.

25 Lessons from Jack Welch

  • Senior leaders insure that these practices flow easily throughout the culture and embedded in the formal and informal company practices.


Leadership Attributes

  • Stop the scoundrels at the gate – when you are hiring people for leadership positions use new approaches to reviews and assessments that are designed to surface integrity issues. Companies such as Bristol-Myers, Pfizer and even smaller companies such as Spartan Stores are using innovative approaches to filter out candidates with Integrity issues.

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  • Put Integrity components in your compensation and incentives programs for all not just executives.

  • Communication between leaders and people in the organization has deteriorated despite polished multimedia techniques. Your message may be lost in the technology. Try a proven old technique. Tell stories about authentic leaders at company meetings, publish these stories in company newsletters.

  • If you have Leader development programs, make sure the first course or seminar includes Integrity.

Leader 360

  • Be seen by the people in your company. Let them see you and talk with you in a relaxed place. If you “hide” in your office, it will be more difficult to build Integrity. A simple change of venue can make a big difference in establishing a leader’s integrity.

  • Turn bureaucracy on its head. Delegate and let people in your group really show their stuff.

  • Establish a “safe haven” approach that permits employees to surface integrity problems without them fearing retribution.SMART LEADER (Ten3 Mini-course)

  • Tough decisions will always be a challenge to Integrity. At such times it takes courage to do the right things. Leadership with integrity acknowledges accountability and responsibility. Step up to the task, don’t waste time over analyzing. If you embrace integrity you will know what to do.

  • Get rid of the “yes men/women”. Surround yourself with a trusted team of people with diverse viewpoints who will tell you what they really think about your ideas. Beware of falling in love with your own approach.






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