There are innumerable issues and challenges that confront the leaders of today, each of which is engrossing and highly intimidating. Empowerment of work forces, cultural and ethnic diversity, demands of the labor unions are some but of all these issues the most pressing one is the integrity of the leaders in command. Corporate ethics and their violation have long made headlines of the newspapers across the world triggered by the breakdown of Enron. The top league involved in some of these scandalous companies have often come under public scrutiny over advancing their interests at the expense of the stake holders. It remains to be seen precisely where things went wrong? Has the pressure to hit the bottom line and achieve high shares in the market taken over to the extent of flagrant violation of ethics? Who is the culprit? What lessons have been learned from the various scandals and what must be done to avoid any more ethical catastrophes in near future? These are some questions which need to be addressed if the integrity of the leaders has to be restored. (George, 2005)
Numerous leadership theories and various business scholars have emphasized on the importance integrity for the success of an organization. Maxwell cited that integrity as the most essential component of leadership. Goleman pointed out that Integrity zeroes down on only one question: that is seeking to know if what one does correlates with his values or not. Covey on the other hand calls integrity as “one of the seven chronic problems” the corporate world of today faces. (Covey, 1990) Good character and attributes has a direct impact on productivity and integrity likewise cultivates trust cum confidence in oneself. It instills in one the self-conscience that would direct an individual to do his utmost for the success of his company. On the contrary, absence or lack thereof could do serious damage to company’s reputation, employee morale, the organizational structure and customer confidence. (Maxwell, 1993) (Goleman, 2002)
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