Why Living With Integrity Is So Important For True Leadership

Kumar Gauraw

Have you noticed how many people are starting their own businesses every day? The numbers are mind- blowing and obviously that’s because the idea of owning a business is very fascinating as well.

Living With Integrity - The Life Of A True Leader - Quote

Entrepreneurship is the best thing that can happen to you and I can tell you from my personal experience. It is a way of life. Entrepreneurship is adventurous and it is the best way to succeed while serving other people in many ways.

I am an avid advocate of entrepreneurship and free enterprise myself. That is the reason I started blogging when I did so I could not just brand my business online but also help other people do the same for themselves.

Integrity Is The Most Important Thing

However, if you have a job alongside that pays your bills, the issue of integrity sometimes comes your way and if you aren’t careful, it’s easy to ignore integrity and go for what feels good to you.

Integrity without knowledge is weak and useless, and knowledge without integrity is dangerous and dreadful.   —Samuel Johnson [tweet this]

Let’s take a step back here. If you don’t like your job and you are passionate about your business, you should quit your job and give all you’ve got to your business. That is absolutely the best thing to do. Do what you love and don’t waste your life doing things you hate doing.

But, if you have a job, you want to continue with it while you are also building your business, integrity is very important and therefore, this post is for you.

Every Business Needs An Intentional Leader

I was recently in India travelling by train from Kolkata to Ranchi. Since it was an eight hour long trip, I picked up a book titled, “The Leader Who Had No Title” by Robin Sharma and I was amazed by what he shared in there.

What intrigued me the most is that many entrepreneurs who also work for somebody while building their business, seem to treat their jobs like a disease. Now, that doesn’t sound very appropriate from a leadership standpoint, does it?

A contract is a contract and when you sign on the employment contract, you always have two choices after that:

  1. Respect the contract, be enthusiastic and loyal towards your duties and perform with excitement – like a true leader.
  2. Try to get by, barely fulfill your duties and always look for excuses, treat your job like a disease and feel like a victim.

The first choice leaves you excited, feeling empowered with a sense of accomplishment every day while the second choice (and a popular one), makes you feel like a victim, frustrated and exhausted.

The first choice is about living with a tremendous integrity and leading your life every single day while the second one is about just getting by, looking for peace somewhere else, while feeling stuck at your current place.

The first choice shows strength in your attitude which is positive, responsible and therefore, it rubs off in every other aspect of your life and helps you succeed much faster even in your other businesses. While the second choice demonstrates that you are always looking for an escape route and it shows itself off even in your other endeavors making you struggle even in other things.

Integrity Is About Being Sincere

I love the free enterprise system and this is what enables you and me to choose our professions and decide the way we spend our lives. Therefore, I love the spirit of entrepreneurship.

However, being an entrepreneur is about being a leader, taking responsibility for our actions and being sincere in our efforts in every possible way.

But I don’t think I am being a leader when I am not being sincere with my responsibilities at my work when I am actually drawing salary from there.

Yes, a job is a temporary solution to a permanent financial problem (bills). But, that can’t be excuse for me as a leader to run away from my responsibilities and not add value to the organization where I work.

If I am not sincere, I am not a leader. Would you agree?

Leadership Is An Attitude – You Can’t Be Selective

If you think about it for a few minutes, how can you be sincere in one thing and not be sincere in another? You have only one heart, only one mind and only 24 hours a day.

How is it possible that you are frustrated and making excuses all day at your job and suddenly become a superman and be uplifting, positive and a leader for everything else? I can’t imagine it’s even possible!

I think that leadership is a way of life. Either you are a leader or you are not. [tweet this]

You can’t play a victim in some aspect and victor at another and succeed at the same time. It’s not only not the right thing to do, it’s not even possible to succeed with this attitude.

Robin Sharma, in his book, “The Leader Who Had No Title”, shares this principle in such a magnificent style. I was spellbound when I read the book because it talks straight at what’s happening today and why we must be lead our lives no matter what kind of jobs we have.

With an attitude of gratitude towards the job you have at the moment, when you approach your workplace you are a leader.

When you remember all the good things that happen in your life because of the job you’ve got, you will be enthusiastic and excited to perform your duties.

When you remember to remember (intentionally) that you matter and that you will only do the right thing, you will always feel empowered at your work and in turn that attitude will help you succeed in every other area of your life including your business.

If you relate to what I have shared here, I would highly encourage you to pick up a copy of the book, “The Leader Who Had To Title” and read it cover-to-cover. You will be excited!

Zig Ziglar On Having Gratitude For Your Job

One of the thing I want to highly encourage you to do right now is – do not leave this page until you spend about 9 minutes of your time and watch this incredibly famous talk by none other than Mr. Zig Ziglar:


Your Turn – Share Your Thoughts

Having shared some of my thoughts and a few helpful resources about leadership at your work, I would like to know… What are some of your thoughts?

Please use the comment section and let me know what you think about being sincere at work and some of the tips and strategies that you can recommend on this topic. Thank you kindly!

Kumar Gauraw

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Kumar Gauraw is a Personal Branding & Social Media strategist helping entrepreneurs and skilled professionals achieve personal and professional success by developing leadership and leveraging the power of the Internet, Blogging and Social Media.

26 Awesome Thoughts So Far, Add Yours Now...

  1. Hi Kumar,
    What a great article and I can say this from experience. My last corporate job, I was told I was being let go. I knew ahead of time and had to train the person that was going to be replacing me. At first I was shocked, but then I realized God had other plans for me. I went to work every day with a smile and was thankful for the opportunity to start a new career. People couldn’t believe how I was handling it and said I was being too nice. I said, that’s just me. I left that job and started a new career as an entrepreneur in the health industry – my passion. There have been bumps, but I know they are a learning process and I’ve been grateful to have met some wonderful people online who have become good friends. Oh – I used the tweet feature. It’s pretty cool. Have a great day. Lisa

    • Hello Lisa,

      Thank you for sharing a great testimonial. What you did (irrespective of the fact that you were being let go), is what leadership is all about. Giving our best and a little bit more. Thank you for setting a great example!

      I wish you all the success in your enterprise and if there is any help I can be of, please always feel free to let me know.


      • Aww, thank you so much Kumar. I appreciate it. It’s friends like you who make my day brighter. I find entrepreneurs help each other and really stick together as a team. So different from the corporate life. Lisa P.S. I heard you’re a WP guru. I may be reaching out to you with some questions. Right now I purchased a new domain name, doing a backup of my old site and transferring everything to my new one. Wish me luck. πŸ™‚

        • Aha! WP guru?? Hmmmm…. not sure about that but I can be of some assistance for sure πŸ™‚

          And yes, on your new website, wish you all the best!!!!

          And if there is anything I can help you with, please shoot me an email or give me a call. I will be glad to be of any service!

          Thank you

  2. Hi, Kumar!

    I completely agree with you on your position of this question! I always was saying everybody that it doesn’t matter what you do, you have to do your best! Most people don’t like their jobs, but that’s not the reason of just doing something there, you have to do your best or quit immediately and start something that you love!

    Great post, Kumar!

    • Hi Aistis,

      It’s so great to hear from you! Yes, entrepreneurship is glorified today more than ever and for good reasons. But starting a business because you hate your job, may not be a good reason for doing it.

      Plus, if you have your job, quit and do your business. I don’t see any value in staying there, complaining about it and still going everyday to get that paycheck. It just doesn’t make sense.

      Have a good day my friend!


  3. “One can’t play victim at one place and victor at other.” Well, I also used to fall in the same category. But your mentoring has done wonders. I follow my dreams and work on them sincerely.

    I truly agree with you. Being sincere for one thing and not for other is totally a pseudo thought. One has only one heart and one brain so one can’t behave differently.


    • Good thought Ankit. I am glad to know you are making good progress with your eMithilaHaat. Good going!
      Keep up your good work!

  4. Hey Kumar

    It is an interesting conundrum for some people. I personally choose to leave places I am not happy. Although it sometimes takes time.
    In the end, it is not good for you or your employer.
    It seems to be a common modern affliction, which many people do not want to solve (as pointed out in the video).
    But if you start and love something you start, then hopefully you can have a better life!
    thanks for sharing

    • Absolutely! Do what you love and get passionate about it. That’s the best thing to do. Be a great example of following your passion and inspire others!

      Or, if you can’t do that, then learn to love what you do and give it your best. Don’t complain and ruin your experience and that of others. Right? πŸ™‚

      Thanks for sharing your story with us. Have a great day!


  5. Hi Kumar,
    You’ve included some great resources here. My takeaway from The Leader Who Had No Title is to never settle for a life of mediocrity. Extract the greatness within you and live a great life. What Robin Sharma calls your inner leader I have long thought of as “inner winner.”

    I love the Zig Ziglar video. I’ve dealt with many people over the years like the lady he referenced. His wisdom yet reminds us to have the proper attitude towards serving others as so clearly expressed in Lisa Magoulas’ reply.

    Have a fantastic day!

    • Hi Bill,

      That’s an awesome take away. Never settle for a life of mediocrity. That’s what a man or woman with passion for their craft will do. Thank you for sharing that.

      Thank you and wish you to a successful and productive new week!


  6. Hey Kumar,

    I’m oftentimes wondered why people would do nothing but complain about their jobs when it was their choice to work there. I’ve always had the attitude that I’m going to be the best I can be no matter where I am or the position I hold. It’s our reputation that we carry with us wherever we go and in corporate America it can follow you to the next position or prevent you from moving to where you want to go.

    Being online now it seems that the slightly thing you do these days can be judged rather quickly. I think to me if you’re a hot head you’re like that no matter what you’re doing so I find it hard for some people to be one thing to some and another to others.

    I bet that’s a good book and you had a long enough ride to read that one. Thanks for sharing this with us and I hope everyone would lead with integrity!

    Enjoy your week.


    • That is what makes me wonder about their integrity Adrienne. If I can’t respect a customer who is paying me to do a job, I am not a good businessman, am I?

      Why can’t people treat their employers (and really feel that way) as their important customer and serve them well while they are on their employer’s payroll.

      Glad you liked the idea and thank you for dropping by and sharing your thoughts.


  7. What a great post, Kumar.

    You really nailed it with this post. I agree, going to a job that you keep on criticizing is not empowering at all, but rather a pit fall for you. And it won’t make you the leader you need to be in order to become an entrepreneur, for sure.

    Unfortunately, very few people even think of that and a post like this should be posted on job boards, really πŸ™‚

    Thank you for this great reminder and such a profound truth about it takes to be a true leader.

    • Thanks Sylviane! This is something I have been lately thinking about and I needed to let this out since I have a lot of people in my life who seem not to think right about their jobs. I believe that one must be sincere towards their clients and in a way an employer is also a customer and if we are taking salary to serve them. With that sense of understanding, shouldn’t we treat their money with respect and serve them in a way that they can keep us for their service just for another month?

      The moment that realization happens, I think people will start to take their jobs more seriously. Isn’t that true?

      Thank you for dropping by and sharing your thoughts to add value. I like the idea of posting such a notice in job boards.


  8. Hey Kumar,

    What a great post. I seriously think so many people don’t realize that you have to be an intentional leader and that start with Integrity. I like to think of myself as a leader and sometimes it can be tough to make the right decision when the easy decision is right there!

    Awesome talk by Zig too,


  9. Hi Kumar,

    What an excellent point you have made in this post. Now, I don’t have a job, but rather chose to be an entrepreneur a very long time ago. When I think back of when I did work (decades ago on Wall Street) it never sat quite well with me. There were many things I didn’t like about working for someone, but never complained about it. At a young age, I thought to myself “Where there’s a will….there’s a way” I picked up my first book “Think And Grow Rich” and I was on my way. It was an immediate mind shift.

    Did I play the blame game? No. Guess that is not part of my personality. But I do counsel many people who do, especially when it comes to their jobs. Oh boy do they hate it! They are fill with anger. Plus they tell me they want to do what I do. Hmmm…. I first have to tell them it has to start with their attitude.

    Watching Zig’s video I kept nodding my head…Yep..that’s what I deal with too. And that’s somehow like I have to help my clients.

    Having Integrity is part of our lifestyle. You cannot be a victim in one place and a victor in another. Like Zig mentioned “You have to look yourself in your eye!” Sometimes it takes a little nudge, sometimes more than that.

    If you want to help people you need to help yourself first because you are the tool! If you want to be a leader, you must have the integrity to do so. Yes, we have to look ourselves in the eye and be truthful. I like the way Zig made that woman write things down on a piece of paper because to turn negative feelings around, it works best when you write it down. Like his example of “I like my job because…..” That first step is oh so important!


    • Wow! Thank you for such detailed analysis and also for sharing your own life experiences Donna! Awesome!

      The best way to be positive is to overpower the negativity with positivity and that’s exactly what Mr. Ziglar wanted to convey. When we write down good things and do a self-talk like he says, it does make a tremendous positive impact on our mindset. I have done that and I still do.

      Have a great rest of the week.

  10. Hi Kumar,

    That was a much needed post, especially in times like these πŸ™‚

    We hear so many people complain and crib about the jobs they are stuck in, or the ones if they don’t pay them well, whereas the choice was always there. Why have they forgotten to be grateful for the little things in life? I think just appreciating the fact that they have a job and are earning and living should be the basic.

    Loved the video, and I was nodding my head all along those 9 minutes, and though I haven’t read the book, I can surely make out how engrossed it must’ve kept you all through your trip to India, and yes – that train ride can get pretty long and boring it you don’t have something to keep you busy πŸ˜‰

    Thanks for sharing. Have a nice week ahead πŸ™‚

    • That is true Harleena and in fact I didn’t know when I arrived at Ranchi I was so engrossed in this book. It is absolutely fascinating read.

      Glad to know you enjoyed Zig Ziglar’s talk and watched the full video. Thank you for doing that and sharing your thoughts in the end.

      Have a terrific rest of the week!


  11. Hello Kumar,

    The world lives on hypocrisy, fear and pretentiousness! From my youth, I have been a very big ‘radical’ or so I am called at least. While I did not even know that dedicating your entire time, attention and love to a single venture wasn’t even integrity, that was exactly what I did. And guess what? I received the biggest challenges from friends and loved ones who felt I now had a family and should ‘play safe’.

    But is there anything like playing safe? In my estimation, no! Recently, I quit my day job and took to the internet lifestyle…believe me, the first six months were the hardest – but deep down me, I had an overwhelming belief that if money is to be earned, I better earn it online doing what I love.

    Few months ago – I was again proved right – my income from my online activities exceeded the pay from my day job and other ‘partial ventures’ when I had a day job! That was when I discovered you really need to give your time to whatsoever you are doing to get any results!!

    Great article I must say…you write exactly in the fashion that really makes my day!!


  12. Some might say that leadership comes from the ability to convince and motivate people to go in a certain direction.

    However, I think that true leaders don’t really need to work on that skill, because the core thing is a step ahead.
    When someone is so convinced himself by what he is doing, he can move mountains. The inner conviction kind of radiates to others.
    That is what we can call “congruency” or “alignment” : being plug to your core value and vision as a leader, and having enough presence to pass it to others around you.

    What do you think about that ?

  13. Mr.Kumar,
    What a great way you had articulate this blog!
    I think it was great piece of work where harmony of business and jobs meet. Your approach of showing integrity at work and passionate about entrepreneurship was really a great way to understand this concept for me.
    Thank you for sharing!

    • Awesome Atit!

      Good to hear from you after a while! Yes, a lot of people get confused about where their loyalties should be. But really if we think about it, it isn’t very difficult thing to realize.

      When you make a commitment, live upto it. Do not look for shortcuts because on the path of integrity, there are none.

      I am glad you enjoyed the article! Did you share this on social media? πŸ™‚

  14. Hi Gauraw Kumar, thanks for sharing this leadership topic on your blog. Really i loved it and following points which you wrote here.

Please Note: My goal is to host interesting conversations with caring, honest, and respectful people. Therefore, I reserve the right to delete comments that are snarky, offensive, or off-topic.