Leading with Integrity: Creating Positive Change in Organizations, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Leading with Integrity

Creating Positive Change in Organizations, 1st Edition

By Michael Smith


184 pages

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Thanks to global news and social media, we are the most informed and socially conscious generation in history. But what are the sources of inner inspiration that guide our daily conduct and motivations in the workplace?

Far from the old Machiavellian dictum that "the ends justify the means", the reverse is often the case: the means determine the ends. This book presents the stories of business leaders who have aimed to build trust in the economy, and have delivered value through integrity, cooperation, stewardship, purpose and sustainability. It proposes the eight Cs of trust which can define the culture of organizations: contracts, covenants, competences, character, conscience, conviction, courage and change.

The book makes the clear link between personal decision-making and global outcomes and demonstrates how positive decision-making can lead to change inside organizations and beyond.


"This excellent and practical book builds on Mike Smith’s personal engagement with and study of leadership. In it, he distils the product of many meetings with leading individuals and workshops and conferences he has led addressing the subject."

Sir Mark Moody-Stuart, Chairman, UN Global Compact Foundation and Former Chairman of Shell Group

"Mike Smith has been pursuing an urgent conversation on the new leadership for longer than most companies have realized they needed it. If you want to understand where leadership in the business world is going, you could ask for no better global guide."

Margaret Heffernan, Texan entrepreneur, Huffington Post blogger and best-selling business author of Wilful Blindness and A Bigger Prize

"Mike Smith shares profound insights into the DNA of good business. His easy, narrative style makes these insights both accessible and persuasive. A thoroughly recommended read for all those who care about a better business ethos."

Professor Roger Steare FRSA, Corporate Philosopher, Cass Business School, City of London

"Some people write about the failings of capitalism and some people write about the achievements of individuals. What Mike Smith does uniquely well is to tell inspiring stories of individual achievement in a manner that points the way towards a better capitalism".

Mark Goyder, Founder, Tomorrow’s Company

"Mike Smith’s work on ethical business is both extremely well researched and enormously timely. We are in an age when business as usual is no longer an option, either for the planet or its populations. Leading with Integrity tells the stories of some of the businesses that are making most difference and leading an ethical revolution. It deserves a very wide readership."

Tony Bradley, Lecturer in Social Economy & Enterprise and Lead Researcher in Sustainable Business, Liverpool Hope Business School

"Taking ‘time out’ to contemplate what is right action going forward is a transformative leadership habit. Mike Smith shows us, through many powerful stories, how leaders tapped into their own values compasses to create ethical and sustainable businesses."

Anita Hoffmann, founding CEO of Executiva, and author of Purpose & Impact: How Executives Are Creating Meaningful Second Careers

Table of Contents

1. Why this book

2. Skin in the Game

3. Narrowing the world's rich-poor gap

4. Banking on the brink

5. Banking on change

6. Creative Connections--Person to Person

7. Conscience Capitalism

8. Five Pillars of Trust

9. Beheading the Snake of Corruption

10. The Silent Crisis: Meeting Environmental Challenges

11. The Impact Generation: "Furry Animals" of Social Entrepreneurship

12. Thinking Heads: the Wise Owls of Academia

13. Health and Welfare: the Human Face of Business Leadership

14. Culture of Trust

15. Time for Self-Reflection

16. Takeaways from this book

About the Author

Michael Smith is a freelance journalist on the topic of values in business and the economy. His articles have appeared in the Financial Times, the Guardian and Guardian Weekly, The Times, the Independent, the Scotsman, the Herald (Glasgow) and the Pioneer (New Delhi). He serves on the Swiss steering committee of Ethical Leadership in Business forums and was Head of Business Programmes at Initiatives of Change, UK, from 2010 to 2017.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Business Ethics
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Development / Sustainable Development
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Corporate Governance