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Honesty, Integrity And Trust In Leadership

2327 words - 10 pages

Honesty, Integrity and Trust in Leadership

December 08, 2008



Recently upper management of the Indiana University Information Technology Services Department (UITS), Finance Office Staff called a departmental meeting to discuss the results of an employee job satisfaction survey the was taken approximately nine months earlier by the employees of UITS. We had received hints, from our manager, during our last workgroup meeting that upper management was quite shocked at the results of the survey concerning the attitudes of the employees of our work area. Upper management was upset with the survey results that alluded to the fact that the employees didn’t trust management. Christine ...view middle of the document...

To do so will earn at the very least earn you the ire of upper management and often will result in a tongue-lashing. Middle and Lower Management in our department have created an atmosphere of distrust by making promises they can’t keep, not following through on things, and not meaning what they say. This type of treatment reinforces my feelings and those of my co-workers that management is dishonest, has no integrity and cannot be trusted. The “secret conflicts” of unresolved trust harbored by employees towards management cannot be acted upon by the employees and therefore grows resentment, distrust, lowers morale, lowers productivity, increases absenteeism, lowers job satisfaction, and in the end hurts the organization. Also, when a true conflict arises it can cause the conflict to escalate due to the unresolved “secret conflicts” the employee has been harboring.
What is: honesty, trust, and integrity? According William J. Bennett “To be honest is to be real, genuine, authentic, and bona fide. To be dishonest is to be partly feigned, forged, fake, or fictitious. Honesty expresses both self-respect and respect for others. Dishonesty fully respects neither oneself nor others. Honesty imbues lives with openness, reliability, and candor; it expresses a disposition to live in the light. Dishonesty seeks shade, cover or concealment. It is a disposition to live partly in the dark.” (Bennett, 1993). According to Webster’s online dictionary trust is “the trait of trusting; of believing in the honesty and reliability of others.” And, the most popular view of integrity “often refers to a refusal to engage in lying, blaming or other behavior generally seeming to evade accountability.” (Websters Online Dictionary). Trust is the essential ingredient in relationships. In an organization there are many relationships. The greater the trust: the stronger the relationship. The stronger the relationship: the stronger the foundation of the organization. Relationships develop from having the same interests or goals, having the same values and principles, and mutual attractions; but, trust is what truly binds them together. Jim Clemmer states “trust is the key element in establishing credibility; and credibility is at the center of our ability to influence others and provide strong leadership.” (Clemmer, 2006)
Trust in management benefits everyone in the organization. Economists John Helliwell and Haifang Huang at the University of British Columbia have calculated that if “you get a new boss and your trust in management goes up one point on a ten point scale, the job satisfaction level is like getting a thirty six percent pay raise.” (Sahadi, 2006). “Companies with high management trust levels earn proportionately three times more than companies with low management trust levels.” (Cooper, 2008) In today’s market, organizations cannot afford the cost of a loss of trust. Loss of trust from internal and external influences on an...

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