Leader Integrity: Truthful Words Without Creating Doubt & Lies

Leader Integrity: Truthful Words Without Concocting Doubt & Lies

Do truthful words ensure leader integrity? You can use truthful words yet spin lies of innuendo, doubt, fear, or hate. This isn’t integrity. When assessing leader integrity, we should asses more than a leader’s words.

Leader Integrity: Image is white thistle flower.

Leader Integrity: Truthful Words w/o Spinning Doubt & Lies. Image by George Watson.

Image by George Watson via Flickr Creative Commons License.

Leader Integrity: Truthful Words Without Creating Doubt & Lies

In the movie, The American President, Michael Douglas as President Shepard asks his chief of staff: “Has Senator Bob Rumson (played by Richard Dreyfuss) lied? Has he said anything that isn’t true?” The chief of staff makes him realize that Bob was using truthful words to cast innuendo, fear, and doubt. In the end this created a false picture. This is the equivalent of lying. Leader integrity doesn’t lie with truthful words to create false pictures.

How to Show True Leader Integrity

  • Use questions to hear other’s views not to cast aspersions nor to create doubt.
  • Be honest and forthright with care not aggressive nor passive aggressive.
  • Check your objectivity and speak from experience — not hearsay.
  • Be transparent about your purpose. When you disclose your motives, it shows you and everyone the truthfulness of your words.

What stops leaders from using these steps? What gets in the way?

From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

Related Posts:
Leadership Integrity: Small Steps That Win Big
People Skills: Integrity & Authenticity

©2016 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email info@katenasser.com for permission and guidelines. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.

Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.


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6 Responses to “Leader Integrity: Truthful Words Without Creating Doubt & Lies”

  1. Thank you for this Kate – I need to go back and watch that movie again to get the context and the scene in my head.

    As I read your this, “Use questions to hear other’s views not to cast aspersions nor to create doubt.” I thought of one of the most manipulative titled leaders I have ever known. As a new hire – the team she was hired to lead, quickly figured out that she told them constant lies, while pretending to be very trustworthy to her boss. But as the team started to stand together and call out her behavior used questions to cast aspersions and create doubt about each other. Before long the team wasn’t sure who to trust and instead of standing together they were successfully divided. Which gave her the control she needed to continue her behavior.

    Eventually she was seen for who she really was – but not before she caused significant damage.

    • Kate Nasser says:

      Wonderful story Chery. It is exactly the behavior and outcomes I was writing about. Thank you so much for adding your true life example this discussion.


  2. Gary Gruber says:

    Right on target, Kate! When leaders are serving their own needs rather than the needs of others they are obviously not being transparent about their motives, their intentions nor their desired outcomes. Too many leaders, especially many who get elected to public office, seem to lose their original good intentions (and promises( along the way. I don’t know whether it’s the sense of power that goes to their heads or some notion of being in that position that gives them a false sense of superiority. Sometimes it’s as simple as actions speaking louder than words……

    • Kate Nasser says:

      Thanks Gary. You have punctuated this guts of this post with your focus on leaders losing focus. I am so grateful for your additions to this discussion!


  3. Alli says:

    Reminds me of a recent episode of Penn and Teller Fool Us. Magicians come on the show to try to fool Penn and Teller. In a recent episode, they told a magician something like: “You were telling the truth and that’s the beauty your misdirection. It was all true.” They, like so many leaders, were doing it with intention. Twisting the truth to create their preferred outcome. Not a way forward for someone who values integrity and respect (for self and others.)

    Thanks, Kate!


    • Kate Nasser says:

      Fabulous example Alli. Acting with integrity is a choice. Telling the truth is a choice. Doing both is the pathway of true integrity.

      Many thanks for adding this story to the discussion.

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