Integrity – What People Want Most

“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.

By Ken

Dr. Ken Cochrum (DMin, Bethel University) is Vice President of Global Digital Strategies at Cru (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ) in Orlando, Florida. An avid cyclist and aspiring guitarist, he also holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering from The University of Texas and a Masters of Arts in Biblical Studies from Dallas Theological Seminary. He recently co-founded, a movement passionate about connecting people to Jesus using digital strategies. He previously served as vice president of Cru’s student-led movements worldwide. He and his wife Ann spent 13 years in East Asia where they raised their two children. Ken blogs regularly at

2 replies on “Integrity – What People Want Most”

I wanted to have the privilege of posting the first comment on your new site! I am looking forward to continuing to enjoy the latest thoughts from the Smörgåsbord of your Spirit-directed heart and mind. Thanks for being used by God to strengthen the heart, hands and head of His leaders!

dang! I am second! This is awesome Ken and I look forward to reading your musing – you always challenge, inspire and encourage. Speaking of Integrity – have you read Henry Cloud’s book Integrity – a great read that gets at the heart of what makes a leader operate at their fullest potential – like you quote, it has very little to do with competency.

Lead on brother!

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