I was recently impressed by the integrity of an independent contractor my husband and I engaged. She works out of her home, and we gladly agreed to meet her there. But the day before our first appointment she called to say someone who had recently tested positive for COVID had been on her property, though not in her workspace. Despite knowing she was losing new client income, she was honest with us. She showed integrity. And you better believe this increased our trust in her; we are even more eager to engage her services now.

Contrast that with my too-frequent conversations with executives considering corporate downsizing due to the pandemic. Many say they don’t want to notify employees about that possibility because they don’t want to risk losing talent before they make their final decisions. The reality? These leaders are losing something more important than talent. They’re losing organization-wide trust. Waiting until the last minute to announce cuts – especially when executive salaries/perks remain unchanged – permanently destroys trust in leadership among exiting and remaining employees. When company leaders haven’t shown integrity in communicating post-pandemic possibilities, those who keep their jobs will always wonder whether they’re being told the truth.

The bottom line? Do what’s right even when doing so is not easy. This is one of the principles Julie and I advocate in our Dare to Lead™ workshops. Click here for information on our next Dare to Lead™ event, April 21-22.

Our mission at McDonald Graham is to create the space for people to do the difficult inner work that is necessary to become their best selves and, thus, the best leaders they can be.

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