Leadership has been rightly defined as influence. Paraphrasing John Maxwell, if you think you are leading people but no one is following you, you’re just taking a walk.
Without influence, a person is not a leader.
Without integrity, a person does not have influence.
You can motivate (influence) people out of fear or guilt for only so long. And after a while, the law of diminishing returns kicks-in and it actually becomes counter-productive. Leaders who use fear to get things done are developing followers who will grow resentful.
Leaders with integrity know that character matters more than competency. Ideally, a leader will have both. But if I had to choose between a leader with high character and average competency or high competency and average character … it’s a no-brainer. Choose otherwise and you’re setting yourself up for disappointment; or worse, disaster.