Integrity Counts for Leadership – Nu Leadership Series

“In the past a leader was a boss. Today’s leaders must be partners with their people… they no longer can lead solely based on positional power.”

Ken Blanchard

What’s wrong in America’s organizations? Some people would proclaim we need more honest leaders at every level of management. Why should a leader be honest anyway? I theorize if he or she wants to be legitimate with followers, they need integrity. With this said, many managers are really transactional leaders who are legitimatized by their positions and titles.

If this is the case, followers would not work for them if given other choices. Lack of credibility poses a problem for modern managers. Henry Kissinger, US statesman, argued, “One cannot combine the benefits of every course of action. And if one goes down a certain road, at some point one has to face the consequences that this road implies.

Credibility count, Leader! Authors Borek, Lovett, and Towns argue that leaders need to commit to doing right and building relationships with followers. Have you ever thought what makes one manager better than another? It might start with his or her credibility. Good values give leaders credibility. Kouzer and Posner, authors of Credibility, explain credibility counts if a leader wants commitment from employees and want employees to do more than expected.

Although the credibility-building process begins with the acknowledgement of a leader’s personal values, only by being follower-focused can any leader ultimately become trustworthy to employees. Contemporary organizational leaders struggle to motivate employees because they lack real credibility with followers; however, today’s leaders need credibility to transform workers from the ordinary.


Borek, J., Lovett, D., & Towns, E. (2005). The Good Book on Leadership. Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

Kouzes, J. & Posner, B. (2003). Credibility. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass Publishers.

© 2006 by Daryl D. Green