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How To Lead With Passion & Integrity

Written by: Joel Haasenritter, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


Throughout history, the world has been plagued by those in leadership positions who have done more damage than good. We have also been blessed by amazing humans who have literally changed the way this world functions; changed the way we think.

Three men and woman talking inside the meeting room with smile on their faces.

Whether it is your business, your family, or a classroom, leadership is a fundamental pillar of success and growth. And how you lead matters!

Become the kind of leader that people would follow voluntarily; even if you had no title or position. — Brian Tracy

What Leadership Is Not

I was reminded of the movie “Office Space” recently, where the main character’s boss derides him for forgetting a cover sheet on his reports. He admitted he had made a mistake and had already taken corrective action. However, his boss would not hear him. Leadership will never be founded on a title, seniority, or pay grade. Having any or all of those does not make one a good leader. In fact, in most cases, it reveals one’s true qualities and acumen for better or worse. If you are in a leadership position, work to build trust, not demand respect. Both are earned, never commanded.

A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves. — Lao Tzu

Seven Qualities Of Effective Leaders

1. Vision

The ability to set a clear vision can not be understated. As the saying goes, if you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll never know when you get there. But more than just relaying a vision is the ability to involve others in that vision. You may never have 100% buy-in from everyone at every time. But no one will want to board a boat without a destination.

2. Purpose

"The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why." – Mark Twain.

There are few things as powerful as having a clear “why,” a clear purpose, and a mission. Not only will it help to shape goals and actions, but it is also what brings people together, intentionally united. And through seasons of hardship, that “why” is what keeps people going.

3. Communication

In any endeavor, big or small, no matter how impactful or meaningful, nothing happens without communication – nothing. Every other critical piece of quality leadership can be in place, but one must be able to convey it effectively and with passion. This is plain to see in famous speeches such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s “I Have A Dream” or Emmeline Pankhurst’s “Freedom or Death” speeches.

4. Empathy

In 2012, Google set out to discover why some teams were highly effective while others fell short of their marks. They studied around 180 teams for over a year and were surprised at the results. What they found is that psychological safety amongst the team had a profound impact on their effectiveness. In other words, the teams who continually excelled felt like they could be heard, like they were seen. They felt like they had a voice and that their voice mattered. If you want to connect with those you lead, have genuine empathy and show it.

A true leader has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions, and the compassion to listen to the needs of others. He does not set out to be a leader, but becomes one by the equality of his actions and the integrity of his intent. — Douglas MacArthur

5. Calculated Risk

One of the greatest characteristics of effective leaders is their ability to respond in any situation instead of reacting to it. It takes patience and emotional control but making quality decisions rarely happens in a heightened state of emotion. As leaders, we are called on to make decisions that affect people’s lives, their families, and sometimes even where they live. With that comes a responsibility to look for opportunities, calculate the risk, and take decisive action.

6. Passion

A great leader's courage to fulfill his vision comes from passion, not position.” — John Maxwell.

In my previous article, Seven Ways To Accelerate Your Dreams, I wrote how passion has the potential to move you through self-limiting beliefs and emotional blockers that might be holding you back. But it is also a key ingredient in attracting those who will rally behind a vision. A group that is passionate about a purpose can, and has, absolutely changed the world.

7. Integrity

One cannot lead if they cannot be followed… It is easy for the grey areas of life to be taken for granted. A stretch of the truth here, a downplaying of reality when things don’t go as planned there. When questionable actions become the norm, questionable leadership will become the perspective of others. It is not enough to set a passionate vision and communicate it well. Trust is earned, not dictated, and trusting that a leader does what they say they will do, that they hold integrity with themselves and with others, ensures a community willing to follow in their footsteps.

Integrity of life is fame's best friend, which nobly, beyond death, shall crown in the end. — John Webster

On Passion…

The essence of passion is all about getting real with your core values and being true to yourself. It doesn’t come by trying to be someone else or trying to pump up your emotions. Being passionate about your purpose goes beyond excitement and can stay standing even through times of trial. That is because passion and purpose are linked to who you are at your core, what you believe, and how you show up to others. But make sure your passion is greater than your fear, that your vision is greater than those who would count you out, and be cognizant that time does not wait around for you to act on your passion. Once you connect to your passion and purpose, it is time to take action. Be patient. Be persistent. And surround yourself with those who can support your vision, cheer you on, and pour into your passion.

On Integrity…

Integrity at the highest level is not just about doing what you say you will do. It begins with holding integrity with yourself first. It goes beyond the standard definition of doing what you said you will do when no one else is around. It is also holding yourself accountable for your own growth and actions.

It means if you intend on hitting the gym three times a week, but “life” keeps getting in the way, you still get that workout in, even when it isn’t convenient. Only after you keep integrity with yourself, can you show integrity with your words, your actions, and with others."

If you would like a roadmap to connecting your passion to your action, download your free copy here.

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Joel Haasenritter, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine Joel Haasenritter is a transformation specialist who helps people in their 30s and 40s, struggling in times of transition, to find balance, growth, and purpose, so they can absolutely crush the next chapter of their lives! After nearly 20 years of owning a highly sought-after company serving high-profile clients across the southeast, starting and growing multiple businesses, and coaching a development team to bring their invention to market, Joel turned his life's passion toward helping others live at their highest potential. In addition to his one-on-one coaching services, he is a founding Ambassador with Oola Global, which recently launched a revolutionary personal development digital platform in over 40 countries with the sole mission of impacting one billion lives in the next seven years. His interests include exploring the hiking trails of Arizona, studying the art of Gracie Jiujitsu, and spending time with his family.



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