Integrity In Leadership Essay

1637 words - 7 pages

Definition of Integrity

·     Since this paper deals with the idea of integrity in leadership, it is useful to start this paper defining integrity. Webster's dictionary defines integrity as "uncompromising adherence to a code of moral, artistic or other values; utter sincerity, honesty and candor, avoidance of deception, expediency, or shallowness of any kind" Let us exam this definition a bit deeper. The first part of the definition talks of uncompromising adherence. This means that one would always choose the "right" path, regardless of what seems to be more appealing. Take the example of when and when not to lie. A person of integrity would always tell the truth regardless of the situation. The second part of the definition deals with what to avoid. Integrity demands complete openness always. The leader of integrity would never try to knowingly deceive his constituents at any time. The leader would always be open and honest.

Theories of Integrity

·     There are many different theories of integrity, but this draft will only discuss two. The first, Integrity of Self Interests, will deal with integrity as it pertains to a leader's best course of action for himself. The second, Integrity of Utility, will deal with integrity as it pertains to the best course for the population.

Integrity of Self Interests

·     Is it better to lie or tell the truth. Trying to analyze this question using the theory of self-interests would depend upon which choice would give the best results for the leader. This is the underlying theme for the theory of self interests. There are two basic formulas that can be used when trying to determine what is moral, and they are:

1.     We should choose the action(s) that we feel, with good reason, will benefit us more than any other choice

2.     We should choose the action(s) that are in our best interests, or that we prefer for the best perceived outcome

These two formulas can be implemented when making any decision. If you feel something will benefit you, or that you prefer one choice over another, then that choice is a choice of integrity of self interest. To illustrate this better, let us go back to the earlier example of when to lie. By applying either of these two formulas, lying can be considered moral. If lying were either in our best interests or one perceives it to result in the best outcome, than it is moral to lie. However if your decision was to fulfill neither of these two formulas, then it would not be moral, and one should make another choice.

Integrity of Utility

·     First, it is important to define the idea of utility. Utility, defined in its simplest form, is doing what will produce the greatest good for the greatest number of the leader?s constituents. Therefore, under this theory of integrity, the leader must consider what is best for his community. This means disregarding his own personal interests. To go back to the example of whether to lie, it would be important to...

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