Leadership Quotes on Integrity

Here are several more quotes on integrity. I am calling these leadership quotes because they are directed toward those who would lead and, usually, from one who is a leader.


The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionably integrity. Without it, no real success is possible, no matter whether it is on a section gang, a football field, in an army, or in an office.

–Dwight D. Eisenhower

There are several leaders who are successful in different spheres. Eisenhower is one of them. He was successful in the world of military and then in the world of politics.

For Ike, integrity is the number one virtue. He was positioned as the Supreme Allied Commander of forces in Europe and was hugely responsible for the success of the Normandy invasion and driving the Nazis out of Europe and back into Germany. And he dealt with a lot of military egos that were a pain in the neck. So, he knew firsthand the importance of integrity, having to deal with empty promises and false acquiescence from a number of generals who served under him. Through everything, Ike kept his own integrity intact.


Pearl Buck was the daughter of missionaries to China and grew up there. She won both the Pulitzer Prize and the Nobel Prize in Literature (not too shabby!). She had a great passion for the plight of minorities. She was an amazingly prolific author!

Here is her observation:
Integrity is honesty carried through the fibers of the being and the whole mind, into thought as well as action, so that the person is complete in honesty. That kind of integrity I put above all else as an essential to leadership.

–Pearl S. Buck

Great insight and she was well positioned to know how essential integrity is to leadership.


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

I hesitated to include this one, because MacArthur, while effective in the Pacific theater of World War II, had significant ego problems. He was not a humble leader, nor was he good at being a team player. He disobeyed orders and really made the Korean War a problem that might have been avoided. Eventually, President Truman removed him from command.

But, the idea of integrity of intent is a good one.


In looking for people to hire, look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence, and energy. And if they don’t have the first, the other two will kill you. 

–Warren Buffett

When we hire at Living Word, we use the well-known 5-C model. We first ask about Character (virtues including integrity); then Chemistry (do we have relational connection and compatibility?); then Core Values (do we share the same core values about what matters, why it matters, and how we do things around here?); then Competency (do you have the necessary skills we are looking for?); and Creed (are our biblical and theological beliefs on the same page?).

If we have character concerns and chemistry concerns, then the rest is irrelevant. Buffett goes further. Without integrity, great gifts became dangerous!


That’s it for some thoughts on integrity in those who lead.

Pray for those who lead the many institutions and organizations of our nation (including Living Word Community Church) that we would be women and men of integrity.

Pastor Brian

Brian Rice