Leading with Integrity in your Profession
By Priscilya Othman ~ People Partner at National Bank of Commerce on 27 Apr 2020Career Development
In my 31 years of life in this world like many I have faced a number of perils in my life and also exceptional success but through it all I learnt the true value of the quality of ‘Integrity’. This subject matter is close to my heart as it’s been a crucial part as a core value in guiding me in all levels of my life; professionally, relationships, and individual.
With 12 years’ work experience since my hay days as an Agency Model, the use of this quality has helped me stay humble and focused on the main key aspects whilst on a job. Rarely do we hear or see “people conduct” in work spaces as a key focal point in how people are rewarded or recognized. The focus is rather on people’s capability and talent that they have to offer. It’s my belief that it’s important for every person whether employed or in a self-employed structure, to have Integrity as one of their main core values. It’s not just about achieving the set target but also how a person meets those targets. If there is one key advice I could share with the youth and even matured professionals in the market is ‘to lead with integrity’ in every decision they make in the work activities.
To be a leader one doesn’t not require to have a status or title but it is a state of being. Everyone can be a leader in all aspects or activities in their life including at their jobs, some may just need the tools to assist to unlock this trait. It’s important that whether you are in a position of power or not, to always try to be fair, honest, transparent, objective and to do the right thing. I believe in our search to make or secure a livelihood it’s critical we possess the right qualities or one may find themselves popular or unpopular for all the wrong reasons. Self-preservation through selfish acts, narcissism, and negligence is not only unsustainable but might also will leave you marked as ‘persona non grata’. This can definitely have a huge impact in your search for growth and fulfilment in your career.
In my own personal journey, I have been faced with a number of situations that it felt easier to do the easy or popular thing so as not to ruffle people’s feathers. In which it was never the best place to be and definitely did not make me feel good nor in control; however I tried to remind myself that an act that would diminish my self-integrity has a bigger impact on my outlook on life which is every important to me. I have learned that to lead a life of integrity in your profession requires the strength and courage to say NO, to question, to probe, to respectfully pushback to people we trust/look up to or to people in higher ranking positions. This may not be the most popular choice for most professions in the market; however I find it as the most sustainable method to breed trust, creating the right personal brand, and generating non-monetary currency that your network could use to spend on you for future recommendations.
If you feel that you struggle to always act with integrity, don’t be hard on yourself instead look into shifting your mindset and perspective of life, and seek to find areas that can move you closer to your goal. Here are few tips that have helped me in times of self-doubt and personal conflict that you can also look into using:
- To be ‘Accountable’ and ‘Self Aware’ of your flaws;
- Always be reliable in all aspects of your life, this will take you a long way in life;
- To seek for feedback and be ready to accept it;
- To say what you mean and to mean what you say. For your word is your Bond;
- To be consistent in all that you do;
- To surround yourself with people who have the same principles in life as yours; and
- To believe and seek for a relationship with a higher power.
As in the words of Brene Brown “What we know matters but who we are matters more."
By Priscilya Othman, People Partner at National Bank of Commerce Limited.