Listen to Jarvis Jones discuss his experience as a High Integrity Leader on his podcast below, and follow along with the transcript! Remember to like, subscribe, and share with friends.
Alright so today we’re going to be talking a little bit about what it means to be a high integrity leader. So to you what does it mean to be high integrity leader.
Well it means a few things to me. I suspect that aren’t depending on who you talk to that definition may be different but to me, a high integrity leader really is a substitute for first being a high integrity person. And by that I mean, if you’re not a high integrity person, you can’t be a high integrity leader. And so it’s not, from my perspective something you try to be. You either are a high integrity person, and therefore a high integrity leader.
You can be a high integrity person and be a high integrity leader, but I do not believe you can be a high integrity leader and not be a high integrity person. I’m not trying to be philosophical or convoluted or anything else — I just believe that and so I I started off saying that it is not something you just become. So I think that’s very important.
Exactly so how would you advise someone who is already high integrity person who wants to become a high integrity leader — how would someone go from just a good person to really go — to taking that integrity to being a good leader.
Well I’ll focus a lot on an individual and each person to decide this for themselves that they’re a high integrity person, assuming that you kick back for most of us think. Then you live your life that way, whether that’s in your personal relationships or professional relations. So I’m saying the desire… to say, “I want be a high integrity leader” or not, but really, first, being a high integrity person, it really is the beginning, middle, and in some ways, almost the end because if you’re a high integrity person (and you define what that means),you decided clearly person slash leader…we’ll marry them together. But being a high integrity leader/person is one who values — it starts with the values — align with their words and actions. That’s extremely important.
I think most of us will say we want world peace or to respect others — that one should respect others and we should love our neighbors. Those are (maybe) your values, but do your values line up with your words?
As you speak, words are important, and so are your actions. So here to tie it together, if your values, words, and actions are all in alignment, you’re going to be a high integrity leader.
Now that assumes your values are fine in nature…I don’t know how to put that exactly. Some people’s values…we would question, but most people try to come from a place of high values.
I think what we get lost oftentimes in our relationships, but in this context, in the work environment — our values and what we profess as our values don’t match up. Our words and values in our transactional and long-term interactions with our colleagues and those above us and those who report trust.
For sure. So you’ve been a leader for some time so what is one of the most common areas where someone’s words and values don’t align with their actions.
Yeah I think the primary area that jumps out for me is around accountability. People often, in my view cavalierly, say they’re going to do X, but we have more of a culture where it’s not surprising that the person does not do X.
To you context it often there’s many good reasons why one does not or you don’t do X. But often it’s taken for granted that there will be some excuse, some explanation, why person does do what they said they’re going to do. I.e., the person is not being their word.
It’s so acceptable. We’re accustomed to it. That’s one of the major areas I believe where people fall short.
That leads to lack of trust, a lack of accountability, and low expectations. Let’s get into the effect of that. Let me just say, I’m still trying to work out what I mean by high integrity leader. To me, I’ll just say quite simply, it means doing what’s right, being a person of your word, your actions and deeds match, and being trustworthy.
To be viewed as trustworthy, you must again do what’s right, be a person of your word, and your actions and deeds matter. Oftentimes we act like our actions and deeds don’t count at different times.
They do if you want to be a high integrity leader.
Gotcha. Now, you would describe yourself as a high integrity leader, yes?
Yes ma’am, but more importantly, I believe that others…well, I’ll answer this two ways.
The short answer is yes, and my integrity and being a person of integrity and a person in an employment situation, the high integrity leader is based on who I am. My values matching up with who I view myself as and who I say I am, so yes.
Secondly, let’s say in the community and/or work environment, do others view you as the high integrity leader. I think that’s extremely important. I think that’s the best way to see if how you view yourself is aligned with and matches up with how others you respect.
Certainly. How do you think you have grown as a leader of integrity? What advice, let me say it this way, if you could go back and talk to you twenty five year old Jarvis,
what advice would you give him about growing into a leader of integrity?
I think leadership, going back to talk to Jarvis twenty five years ago — I love that question — it assumes I’m over twenty seven but, I guess that’s a safe assumption.
Looking back at twenty five, looking back, not just talking to Jarvis at 25, but Jarvis at 25, Jarvis at 35 or 45 or 55 or 65 (Of course, I’m not 65 or anything like that) but, the point I’m making is, no matter where you’re at along the age spectrum, it’s the listening to others.
If you want the respect of others and for people to trust you and to view you as a high integrity leader, you have to really listen. And you have to — well, you don’t have to but it will help you if you’re patient. Very candidly, that’s something I constantly strive to work on. The listening — but not so much the listening, the patience with other people and to accept people where they’re at any particular given time in their work and development.
Gotcha gotcha. And for someone as high achieving and as results oriented as you, I imagine that can be a struggle sometimes if someone needs little extra hand holding or isn’t as confident about something. So how what tasks or exercises have you done to help develop your patience?
Well I haven’t done any specific exercises per se, but I think you really is the listening. And I know we don’t use this word in the workplace so much, but the ability to show empathy-slash-understanding.
By that I mean, when I say that some people will say, “Wait a minute, what do you mean? What about accountability?” But you can show empathy and understanding deal frankly demand accountability.
I think they go hand-in-hand
Absolutely. I think part of being a high integrity leader is being able to show empathy and understand what that person’s at. But you also have with that accountability because I don’t think you can be an integrity leader if you don’t have both.
If you don’t understand and listen to where that person’s at, and then have a built in some accountability. I think they do go hand in hand. So that’s how I really do look at it.