“What values, personal traits, or characteristics do you look for and admire in your superiors?”
Authors James Kouzes and Barry Posner surveyed nearly 1,500 managers from around the United States with this question. More than 225 values, traits and characteristics were identified. These were then reduced to 15 categories. The category that scored the highest? INTEGRITY. This included ideas such as “is trustworthy,” “is truthful,” “has character,” and “has convictions.”
A subsequent two-year study asked 2,600 top-level managers to complete a checklist of superior leadership characteristics. The number one characteristic these business leaders looked for was HONESTY. Honesty ranked ahead of “competency,” “intelligence,” and “is inspiring.”
Message to aspiring leaders: Do What I Say I Will Do.