Discover more from How to Lead Everybody (with their permission)
Live it. Teach it. Hire it.
As leaders, we set the tone. And it’s almost always better when that tone doesn’t lead to legal exposure, lawsuits, depositions, civil judgments, criminal proceedings, the Hague…
I usually pick my Substack topic-of-the-day after catching up on the news in the morning while having my first cup of coffee. I post about integrity frequently, because it keeps coming up in the news. People with talent, with drive, with top-notch educations, with tremendous opportunities, with incredible positions of power—they keep messing things up because they lie, cheat, steal, or invade Ukraine.
Be the best version of yourself, and bring it out in the people around you:
Tell the truth. You don’t have to tell them everything, but don’t tell people things you know are false.
Walk the walk. If you tell your people that, “it’s important that we all do this,” then you need to do it, too.
Don’t tolerate dishonesty on your team. If someone makes an error of integrity, you might decide to give them a second chance, after making your expectations clear and having them experience the consequences of their actions. Do not give them a third chance.
Protect yourself, your people, and your team. Trust, but verify.
Avoid gossip, and put a quick end to it if you see members of your team spreading rumors.
Do the right thing, even when it’s not the easy thing. Your people are watching and learning from you.
Do your fair share on teams. Assume your “fair share” is a bit more than what you see as an even split of the work, since you might not know everything everyone else is doing.
Don’t excuse yourself because you had good intentions. “I meant to get to that today” does not help the person if you promised to do something and they were counting on you. Do what you say you’ll do. I recommend the “under-promise and over-deliver” strategy—give yourself a bit of a time cushion on delivery dates and expense estimates, and delight them with an early delivery or an under-budget project.