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Real Women, Real Leaders: Surviving and Succeeding in the Business World by Priscilla Shumway, Kathleen Hurley

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4 Displays High Integrity and Honesty

“Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody's going to know whether you did it or not.”

—Oprah Winfrey

The Zenger and Folkman competency with the second-highest difference between women and men is Displays High Integrity and Honesty. This chapter discusses how our Real Women demonstrate this competency and how they have shown integrity, honesty, and trustworthiness in their decisions and lives, leading to their current successes. Our Real Women describe real-life examples of occasions in which it was hard to stay true to their values, but through integrity and persistence they over-came these challenges and developed into the leaders they are today.

We all know what it means to tell the truth. Integrity and honesty, however, can be somewhat more complex, especially in the workplace. The competency of displaying high integrity and honesty is defined as having strong moral principles, uprightness, and fairness. In leadership this manifests itself through consistency between words and actions.

Through integrity and honesty, leaders are able to create a culture of trust, which in turn leads to successful teams and organizations. To display these characteristics, one must be willing to stay true to what he or she believes in and stand up for it, even if presented with opposition. How do we know whether someone is trustworthy and has integrity? Trustworthiness is thought to have four major qualities: integrity, honesty, promise-keeping, ...

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