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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Integrity and leadership

I went to an interesting workshop today (which is actually part of a faculty development series, but staff are allowed to attend if there's room).  Of course I loved the speaker's premise - that integrity and authenticity are more important tools for successful leaders than, say, strategic planning.  But I'm also cynical enough now to feel like those values are not especially useful for today's leaders, or their minions.  I'd go so far as to say that the prevailing attitude toward integrity in our socieyt today is that it's just for suckers.  I don't want to think this way, but my experience in leadership positions has lead me to firmly believe that trying to hold people accountable to their own commitments or the commitments of the organization make you the most hated person in the room, bar none.  Trying to operate with integrity elicits suspicion, derision, hostility, and gets you dismissed by virtually everyone you interact with.  I would have liked to challenge the speaker, not just to be contrary, but to really get a response regarding "how that integrity thing is working out" (not my words, the words of someone in my small group during the workshop).  But there was no opportunity, so I'm stuck with my misgivings for the time being.


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