Authentic Leadership: Leading with Purpose and Integrity

In this second installment of our series on leadership, we journey into the heart of leadership excellence by exploring two fundamental traits: Purpose and Integrity. If you missed the first article on Bold Leadership, you can catch up here. Now, let’s embark on a journey that unravels the significance of leading with purpose and integrity—two cornerstones that define authentic leadership.

A Personal Leadership Journey

Let me share a story that mirrors the transformative potential of purpose-driven leadership. A few years ago, I crossed paths with a talented professional, let’s call her Sarah. Sarah had climbed the corporate ladder steadily, garnering recognition for her skills. Yet, beneath the layers of accomplishment, there was a persistent unease—a sense that her work lacked a deeper purpose.

It wasn’t until Sarah attended a leadership workshop centered around a purpose that her trajectory took an unforeseen turn. The workshop’s introspective exercises unveiled her intrinsic yearning to contribute meaningfully, sparking a revelation that ignited her leadership approach. With newfound clarity, Sarah aligned her professional endeavors with her passion for sustainability. She did this by championing eco-friendly initiatives within her organization. And in doing so, Sarah reinvigorated her sense of purpose and left an indelible mark on the company’s culture.  

Purpose: The Core of Leadership

Sarah’s story is proof that leadership, at its essence, is an inside-out journey. It’s not merely about the external actions we take. But it’s also about aligning our internal convictions with our outward endeavors. As leaders, we stand at the crossroads of influence, and the path we ultimately choose emanates from who we are at our core. Leading with purpose is, therefore, a dance that begins within—a rhythm of introspection syncing our aspirations with our actions.

This dance requires us to illuminate the caverns of our souls, to decipher what drives us, and to comprehend the legacy we yearn to etch. Purpose-infused leadership underscores the understanding that our decisions ripple beyond boardrooms and spreadsheets. They touch lives, mold cultures, and shape futures. Imagine a leader who sees their role not as a position but as an opportunity to effect positive change, and you have a purpose-driven leader.

Therefore, as leaders, we must gain clarity on who we are and what we value most. Our leadership must be consistent with an internal compass that always points to our true north. When we lead from this place of authenticity, we pave the way for others to follow the path of purpose we illuminate. We become torchbearers of transformation, lighting the way with our unwavering commitment to leading from the core.

Integrity: Leadership’s North Star

In the realm of leadership, integrity stands as the unwavering North Star. Uprightness is the quality that keeps us anchored, even in the stormiest of times. Authentic leaders are built on a foundation of integrity—a commitment to upholding ethical principles and moral values, regardless of the circumstances. This commitment forms the bedrock of trust and respect upon which we build meaningful relationships and effective leadership.

Here are four tips for upholding integrity in your leadership journey:

  1. Consistent Values: Clearly define your core values and ensure they align with your leadership actions. Consistency between your professed values and your behavior fosters authenticity and trust among your team.
  2. Transparent Communication: Be open and honest in your interactions. Share successes and challenges with your team, demonstrating your willingness to take responsibility for your actions.
  3. Ethical Decision-Making: When confronted with challenging choices, let your moral compass guide you to prioritize the greater good. And make decisions that reflect your commitment to fairness and honesty.
  4. Lead by Example: Set the tone for integrity by modeling the behavior you expect from your team. When your actions mirror your words, you foster a culture of integrity throughout your organization.
Leadership Legacy

As we weave the threads of purpose and integrity, we realize they are not isolated traits but complementary forces that shape our leadership legacy. When leaders lead with purpose, anchored by values, they unleash a cascade of positive influence that extends far beyond their immediate sphere. Whether transforming a company’s culture or revitalizing a community initiative, the synthesis of purpose and integrity leaves an indelible imprint.


In conclusion, authentic leadership thrives when purpose and integrity interlace seamlessly. Purpose propels us forward, infusing our actions with profound meaning, while integrity is the unwavering guide, ensuring our journey remains aligned with our values. 

As we lead from the core, we embrace a profound truth: our leadership legacy is determined by the resonance of our inner convictions with the impact we create. Sarah’s story, and countless others like her, echoes the profound effect of these traits. So, as you venture further into your leadership journey, remember that leading with purpose and integrity isn’t just a choice—it’s a commitment to shaping a legacy that resonates authentically.

Lisa L. Baker - Certified Personal, Career, Success and Life Coach

Lisa L. Baker is a professional life coach, career strategist, and keynote speaker. Lisa is the founder of Ascentim – a Maryland-based coaching practice that utilizes a unique G.R.O.W. process to help clients gain clarity, realize new possibilities, overcome obstacles, and win at life. Lisa shows high-performing professionals how to Level Up and Live the Life of Their Dreams.

Ready to G.R.O.W.?