Coffee with Leadership Principles
13 Aug 2020

Coffee with Leadership Principles

Post by Barry Nalley

“I’ve learned
That truth is pure, it can come From an evil person or a good person
Just don’t get the people confused.”


During my coffee break this morning I’ve been thinking about the Presidency, and the race between the parties to gain the position at the Helm for this nation.   I’m not talking politics; I’d prefer never having to deal with politics. Yet, I do understand that political acumen is needed for a President, or any leader, to deal effectively with politicians and their… spawn, of lies and twisted truths.   That being stated, I’d like to examine one of the principles of leadership, take a look at its basic components and, perhaps, show it’s value in good Leadership.

Leadership…. What makes one a Leader?  What does it take to be a Leader?  Better yet, what makes a good leader?      There are six principles I have in mind.    The first five, Selflessness, Loyalty, Commitment, Energy and Decisiveness, are all important and if just one of them is missing, a leader will be less than he or she could be.  And while missing any one of them might not, in itself, prevent one from being a successful leader or NCO, it will diminish their effectiveness.

The sixth principle; the one principle that has the greatest meaning to me personally is… INTEGRITY… Because I believe that without this singular quality, a Leader will:

  • Have NO value as a true leader, and will
  • Lack the Key Element that pulls all other principles together as a whole!

“Integrity” is defined by Webster’s Dictionary, as “The quality, or state of being complete, or… undivided”

It is an unimpaired condition…  Integrity is the wholeness or completeness of something…

Integrity is comprised of a number of essential elements, some of which, are:

  • Honor:    A man of honor keeps his word.   Although this element is sometimes used synonymously with Integrity, it is more a part of integrity in the sense of engendering respect or acknowledgement.  When Chief Tecumseh said, “… Always give a word or a sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend, even a stranger, when in a lonely place…  Show respect to all people and grovel to none…   Abuse no one and no thing, for abuse turns the wise ones to fools and robs the spirit of its vision…,”  I think he was referring to Honor.
  • Honesty:  To tell the truth.   And yet, Honesty is more than just this… An honest person knows that it is important to know when to tell a truth and when to keep it to themselves.  Truth can indeed be used wrongfully, as many young married couples have learned through their “In-Laws.”
  • Candor:   The straightforward revelation of self.   The leader who is unafraid to take an honest look at themselves, and with a sense of humor and sensitivity, reveal something of themselves in order to help others, shows great strength of character.
  • Courage: Inner strength, and standing for what is right, even when others cannot, is a fundamental part of Integrity.
  • Ethics:    To have Integrity… we must develop within ourselves the ability and willingness to recognize Right from Wrong.   What is right or wrong does not depend on the situation.   Situational Ethics of  “The end justifying the means” is never where a Leader wants to walk…
  • Situational Awareness:  A good Leader quickly recognizes his environment and knows when, as well as when not to engage, in war or in peace.
  • Self-Discipline: Governing oneself. The good Leader must be able to hold himself in check; to keep a clear mind to achieve what’s best for all in spite of contrary emotional feelings is vital to great Leadership!

Each of the  preceding elements are important to Integrity, but they are not at all the bottom line in Integrity; There is more… But, Integrity is the one trait that pulls all the ‘Principles of Leadership’ together.

Integrity is the wholeness or completeness of something… or someone!

Perhaps, this nation will agree to keep at its helm, someone who demonstrably show the traits of great Leadership…   If not, I’m going to have a hard time acquiring and brewing good coffee…