Source | www.forbes.com | Frances McIntosh
We’ve all been let down by a co-worker, and we’ve probably all let a coworker down too. Sometimes, as leaders, we make mistakes that call our integrity or character into question. How can we minimize these lapses in judgment so that we can maintain a work environment that’s built on trust and vulnerability?
First, we have to name the problem. We often hear people interchange the words “integrity” and “character,” but they’re not the same. Let me illustrate.
Jennifer works in sales. There are five others on the sales team, and usually, clients are distributed pretty evenly among them. Jennifer’s boss, Daniel, promised her a group of clients. However, when it came time to assign these clients, Jennifer got none. What’s worse is that Daniel never told her that she wouldn’t be getting the promised clients. She found out from someone else in the office. When Jennifer mentioned this to Daniel, he just avoided her and stopped replying to her emails.
Andrew in the marketing department watched this whole scenario unfold from the sidelines. Now, Daniel hasn’t just lost Jennifer’s confidence, but Andrew’s as well. How can Andrew trust Daniel to follow through when he watched him silently retract his promise to Jennifer?
So, what happened here? Was this a lapse in integrity, character, or both? What we should realize is that a lot of small mistakes led up to a major integrity slip on Daniel’s part.
1. He went back on a promise, which he shouldn’t have made in the first place.
2. He wasn’t straightforward with Jennifer when he decided to give the clients to her coworkers.
3. He avoided her when she tried to get answers.