Summary: Integrity is a rare commodity in almost all areas of life the government, the press, Education and even the church has been hit hard by scandal. In every case, the lack of credibility can be traced back to the level of integrity of the individuals within



Integrity is a rare commodity in almost all areas of life the government, the press, Education and even the church has been hit hard by scandal. In every case, the lack of credibility can be traced back to the level of integrity of the individuals within those organizations and institutions.

The dictionary defines integrity as the state of being complete, unified a situation where words are matched by deeds. You are who you are no matter where you are and who I am with. A person with integrity does not have divided loyalties nor does he play the hypocrisy game. People with integrity are “whole” people; they can be identified by their single – mindedness. They have Nothing to hide and nothing to fear. Their lives are open books. A person of integrity is one who has established a system of values against which all of life is judged.

Integrity is not what we do so much as who we are. And who we are, in turn determines what we do. We all face conflicting desires. It does not matter how spiritual you are. Integrity is the factor that determines which desires will prevail. We all wrestle with what we want to do and what we ought to do. Integrity is establishes the rules for resolving these tensions.

Integrity is the soil on which consistency grows.

Socrates has said and I quote - “The first key to greatness is to be in reality what we appear to be” Too often we try to be a “human doing” before we have become a “human being”. To earn trust as a leader you must be authentic. If what I say and what I do are the same, the results are consistency e.g:

I say to youthsBe on time for the meeting,&

I arrive at the meeting on time. As such they will be on time

Next,I say to youths, put others First, and i equally put others first, then, they will put others first.

If what I say and do are not the same, the results are inconsistency (Repeat examples given, let what is said not be what is done) 80% of what people learn comes by visual stimulation. 10% through audible stimulation, and 1% through other senses. So, it makes sense that the more followers see and hear their leader being consistent in action and word, the greater their consistency and loyalty. What they hear, they understand, what they see, they believe.

Often we try to motivate our followers with just words or manipulate what youths need is not a motto to say but a model to see.

The more credible you are, the more confidence will place on you, consequently, allowing you the privilege of influencing their lives. The less credible you are, the less confidence youths will place on you and the more quickly you lose your position of leadership.


You cannot say a man is a leader if he has not followers. People will not follow a man they do not have confidence in. therefore the supreme quality for a leader is integrity. Without it, no real success is possible no matter where you are as a leader. If your associates or those you work with find you guilty of being phony, or that you lack integrity, you will fail. Your teaching and actions must agree with each other.

Authority is not power you have over those you lead (followers or subordinates) but it is rather your ability to influence those you lead to recognize and accept that power. It works like a “bargain” followers tacitly agree to accept the leader in return for being offered the kind of leadership they can accept. Simply put leaders must build and maintain credibility. Followers must be able to trust that their leaders will act in good faith towards them.

You will never get the organization to make people responsible to follow your

leadership, no matter the kind title, position, or policy you put in place to curtail insubordination. Effectiveness in leadership more than controlling your environment is controlling the inside. Often people lack leadership authority because they lack integrity.

If your youth understand you, you will get their attention. If they trust you, you will get their action. For a leader to have authority to lead, he needs more than a title on his door. He has to have the trust of those who are following him.


Your character as a youth leader determines both the character and size of your youth group. Will Rogers says: people’s minds are change through observation and not argument. People do what people see.


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Ronnie Merkel

commented on Oct 4, 2009

This is one of my favorite chapters in Developing the Leader Within You by John C Maxwell. As the source of this sermon is not noted, and the material is copyrighted, integrity dictates that he be given the credit for this work.

Nche Takoh

commented on Sep 17, 2015

Thx for your oobservation

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