Integrity James F. Bracher, architect for the renewal of integrity-centered leadership

Listening is the art of moving beyond one's need to control the agenda. Listening creates a conversational context for give-and-take that prospers when inquiring supersedes influence. Listening seeks clarity and expedites insight. Listening creates partnership and commitment. Listening is the key for organizational effectiveness and leadership.

Leadership rallies resources to achieve objectives. Those who exhibit integrity-centered leadership leverage talent with decision-making courage and tenacious follow-through. They affect organizational productivity. Leaders listen, process and evaluate data, take action, and then solicit feedback to refine future efforts. Leaders continuously improve. Leaders adhere to culture, commitments, promises and rules. They are honest and reasonable not because of any external force, but rather because of their own internal drive to sustain organizational values.

Character is the ability to carry out the resolution long after the initial burst of enthusiasm is gone. Character shows when decisions are implemented. Character is demonstrated by how one facilitates discussions, takes decisions, administers directions and implements diagnostics. Character is the sum total of behaviors and is most completely demonstrated when individuals perform under pressure. Graciousness is almost always part of effective leadership character. Leaders with character drive organizational culture in all actions.

Input informs Discussions
Vision, the destination of an enterprise, is achieved when leaders encourage input through discussions. Leaders weigh efficiency and effectiveness on the scale of openness, honesty, trust, care and vulnerability. Leaders listen.

Mission drives Decisions
With input shaping discussions, leaders measure decisions alongside the mission of the organization. Staying focused often has more to do with success than either genius or exhaustive research. Leaders recognize the costs and consequences of decisions. They measure progress against mission-critical achievements. Leaders seek a proper balance between self-interest and social responsibility. Leaders decide.

Strategy prioritizes Directives
Leaders know that strategy energizes directives. Guiding associates effectively necessitates constancy and consistency with reference to planning the work and working the plan. Casual abdication of principles in rough weather breeds contempt among followers and glee from competitors. Setting priorities based upon a substantive strategy reassures the workforce and compounds the efforts that underpin success. Leaders are steady.

Tactics require Diagnostics
Tactics bring organizations closest to the customer. Relentless measurements, continuously seeking improvement, enhance successful performance. Diagnostics monitor transactions and assist with customer service and product refinements. Leaders pursue perfection.

Integrity is the Keystone
Integrity is congruence between what you say and what you do, as well as what you say about what you did. Integrity is the keystone of leadership. The keystone holds the enterprise together at its most critical junction, where ideas, products and services meet the customer. The keystone enables the arch to fulfill its supportive mission. Integrity enables an organization to achieve its mission. Integrity is the strength, unity, clarity and purpose that upholds and sustains all of the activities of the enterprise. Integrity provides this stabilizing dimension by never, ever, compromising. Integrity recognizes risks and assumes responsibility. It drives the realization of vision toward the enterprise's destination. Leaders exude integrity.

Eight Attributes of an Integrity-Centered Company
by James F. Bracher, architect for the renewal of integrity-centered leadership

1. CHARACTER: consistency between word and deed.
Do the leaders of your organization exhibit congruence between what they say and what they do, as well as what they say about what they did? Do leaders exhibit the right behavior?

2. HONESTY: truthful communication.
Do you have confidence that your leaders would never engage in or sanction misrepresentation?

3. OPENNESS: operational transparency.
Is appropriate information about your organization readily available?

4. AUTHORITY: employee encouragement.
Are you able to correct a customer problem? Do you have confidence that your actions will be supported?

5. PARTNERSHIP: honor obligations.
Does your organization pride itself on timely fulfillment of all commitments?

6. PERFORMANCE: accountability throughout the organization.
When individuals, including senior executives, under-perform repeatedly, are they given due process and then, if necessary, replaced?

7. CHARITY: generous community stewardship.
Does your organization reach out to those in need?

8. GRACIOUSNESS: respect and discipline.
Does your organization demonstrate care and concern for all stakeholders?

Vision identifies Destination
Vision is where one is going. Vision draws us to our destination individually and organizationally. Integrity secures the arch along our pathway to increased productivity.

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