Integrity is about consistency and congruence between our values and beliefs and our actions. It also implies a high level of honesty and truthfulness in these actions. Leading with integrity requires ethical behaviour, where a leader is committed to upholding the culturally accepted values of society and is prepared to defend them.
Our actions are amplified because so many people have access to our thoughts and behaviours. This amplification can help our message reach a wider group of followers. It can also amplify decisions that, in retrospect, we wish we had not made. Online integrity is connected to our moral beliefs yet the day to day living of these beliefs can easily be eroded by quick, irreversible online decisions. The establishment of online behaviours, etiquette and cultural norms can be developed by:
- parents understanding and modelling sound online behaviours so that their children can follow by example;
- constantly checking your own personal behaviours to see if your offline and online behaviours are congruent – and ethically sound; and
- not responding unethically in response to inappropriate online behaviour.
Let’s face it. None of us are perfect. Yet if we have well defined values and beliefs we may be less likely to cause offense or put ourselves in situations where we wish we could turn back time, erase 140 characters, remove a photo before a job interview or get back our privacy.
Some useful sites to visit: