While growing up as a teenager those years, the Lord said to me one day; “Son, don’t be preoccupied with displaying charisma, take time to develop character. When you build your character, charisma will take care of itself.” I have proven this to be true over the years. This wisdom will work for you too.

Friend, pursue integrity before ability. The attempt to place skills or gifts ahead of integrity is one of the causes of the leadership crises in our world today. In leadership development, integrity comes before skill or giftedness. David served Israel first with the integrity of his heart and then with the skillfulness of his hands (Psalms 78:70-72).

It is better to be without strategy than to be without integrity. Like Norman Schwarzkopf once said, “Leadership is a potent combination of strategy and character. But if you must be without one, be without strategy.” Integrity is the real strategy for life and business (Proverbs 22:1). Your greatest pursuit should be the pursuit of integrity not giftedness or skill. It is character before charisma.

The measure of a man is in his integrity not his skill. Whereas skill can be acquired by anyone, gifts are given by God and do not necessarily reveal maturity and integrity of its carrier. Integrity is what reveals the road a man has walked (Philippians 4:8-13). It is your strength of character that balances your gifts and skills, and provide stability for you as you make progress in life and destiny.

To face life with gifts without integrity is like walking on one leg. The result is a causality going somewhere fast to happen. As a senior leader, look for integrity in choosing leaders in your sphere of operations. It is easier to have men of integrity develop ability or skill than to have men of skill or ability develop integrity (2 Timothy 2:2).

We do more harm than good to our leadership and operations when we place skill above character. The commitment to pursue integrity is actually a commitment to preserve your harvests and success. One character flaw can bring down what you have used skills and gifts to build for years. Integrity is what preserves the authenticity of our work and perpetuates our relevance (1 Corinthians 3:10-15). You can only last as far as your integrity can carry you.

© ‘Demola Awoyele
Lead Pastor,
Destiny Impact Church
Akure, Nigeria