Character Of A Great Leader

“Great Leaders Cultivate Honesty”

Honesty is the single most important “building block” in the leader-follower relationship. To many people, honesty is the same as sincerity, truthfulness, integrity, frankness, candor, and openness. Though some leaders don’t consciously realize it, honesty includes not only telling the truth, but also leaving the right impression. Albert Einstein said, “Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters.”

It’s clear that if people are willingly to follow you—whether into battle or into the boardroom, the front office or the front lines—they first want to assure themselves that you are worthy of their trust. They want to know that you are truthful, ethical, and principled. No matter what the setting, everyone wants to be fully confident in their leaders, and to be fully confident they have to believe that their leaders are people of strong character and solid integrity.

We—all of us—don’t want to be lied to. We don’t want to be deceived. We do want to be told the truth. We do want a leader who knows, right from wrong. Yes, we want our team to win, but we don’t want to be led—or misled—by someone who cheats in the process of attaining victory. We want our leaders to be honest, because their honesty is a reflection upon our own honesty.

Be Honest. Tell the Truth. Let people know where you stand. Use simple language. Call things what they are. Demonstrate integrity. Don’t manipulate people. Don’t distort facts. Don’t spin the truth. Don’t leave false impressions. Bottom Line: Tell The Truth, Leave The Right Impression, And Be Honest!

Listen to the words of Proverbs 12:17 (ESV): “Whoever speaks the truth gives honest evidence, but a false witness utters deceit.” Take comfort in knowing that our Savior and our Lord, Jesus Christ, the greatest Leader in history—He is the Truth. Follow Him!