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Character Development

This is the continuous development of an inner disposition and aspiration for excellence in service to something greater than oneself that exhibits itself through purposeful, principled and disciplined dedication to outward actions that embody the highest ideals expressed in the Navy ethic and core values.

Article Synopsis

The Leadership Challenge of Fostering a Culture of Integrity

Approximate length: 5 minutes

In the above-referenced memo, the author, Admiral K. H. Donald, talks about importance of integrity, specifically within the Navy Nuclear Propulsion Program (NNPP). He suggests that concepts of integrity should be used as a tool for the personal development of Officers and Sailors. The author refers to an article titled, Why We Lie, by Professor Dan Ariely, Duke University, in which he concludes that "everybody has the capacity to cheat." The author states the importance of maintaining a command environment that perpetuates high standards of integrity, where "honest people behave honestly."

The author next enumerates several actions leaders can take to promote the practice of high integrity standards, which are briefly summarized here:

  1. Practically define integrity standards in day-to-day tasks.
  2. Provide frequent reminders about the importance of integrity standards, specifically related to behavior and decision-making.
  3. Be alert to conditions in which integrity standards may be comprised.
  4. Consistently demonstrate high standards of integrity.
  5. Provide swift response to integrity violations.
  6. Encourage peer accountability.

The author concludes the memo with the view that the practice of maintaining high standards of integrity is something that is never fully achieved, given the ever-changing workforce. He emphasizes the importance of integrity to the mission of Naval Reactors and safe reactor operations.

Guiding Questions

The Leadership Challenge of Fostering a Culture of Integrity

  1. What are ways that you personally maintain high standards of integrity for yourself?
  2. What are ways that you specifically maintain high standards of integrity within your command?
  3. When situations of integrity standards have been violated, what corrective actions have you taken to ensure that repeated violations do not occur?
  4. Which of the author’s suggestions do you think is the most significant to maintaining a climate of high integrity? Why? Provide an example of how this is effectively implemented.

Full Article/Reference

The Leadership Challenge of Fostering a Culture of Integrity

ADM Donald, K. H., "The Leadership Challenge of Fostering a Culture of Integrity," Memo, 8 June 2012. Accessed 14 June 2018.

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