So leadership integrity does count then? Lessons from the fall of Boris Johnson

Leadership integrity is key to the success of any leader, yet these days politicians don’t seem to be accountable for the mistakes they make in private. What does it matter how many times they have been married or how many illegitimate children they have? So what if they break the rules to suit themselves. However the Bible doesn’t differentiate on personal and public behaviour, if you don’t have personal integrity you are not going to have leadership integrity either.

Let me say at the outset, this is not a political post, nor is it attack on a particular person. It is hugely disappointing when our leaders fail, no matter what party they stand for or in the case of Christian leaders, however popular or ‘anointed’ they are. Yes we are human and can all make mistakes, nobody is perfect, but if we aspire to be leaders then more of us is expected than others. Scripture makes it very clear that leaders are held to a higher standard.

In James 3:1 we read: “Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.” And in Luke 12:48 we see that “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” God calls leaders to a higher moral standard, to be an example to others displaying ethical behaviour that others may follow.

Leadership integrity and Boris Johnson

Unfortunately in recent years the public has been more concerned about what a politician can deliver for the country, elevating their public profile above their personal reputation. However that is clearly now changing. People are fed up with sleaze. It’s not acceptable to view porn in parliament or to grope others in a state of drunkenness. It’s not surprising therefore that such behaviour in leadership leads to political downfall.

Boris Johnson is highly gifted in many ways, but ultimately his character could not deliver. How sad that his enormous potential was so quickly eroded, however therein lies a personal lesson for us all.

There are some who think that leadership integrity and Boris Johnson do not belong in the same sentence. Others feel that the outgoing British Prime Minister has been the victim of a smear campaign and should continue. Whatever your perspective, I am sure you will agree that we must aspire to a greater level of leadership integrity in future.

As many Christian leaders have observed ‘integrity is what you do when nobody else is looking’. It’s about being honest in your personal life as well as your professional life. The two are inseparable. “Don’t let your gifting take you further than your character can keep you,” is another popular quote that highlights the need for both personal and leadership integrity.

Sadly Boris is accused of being a serial lair. Apart from his much publicised infidelities, his once close associate, Michael Gove recognised him as “not fit to govern.” Yet, he still secured a huge majority as people supported him to fulfil his promise to “get Brexit done”. Many knew of his failings but they still promoted him…

Yes God can use a flawed individual to achieve a particular purpose. He spoke through a donkey in the Bible so God can use anybody He wants. However politicians without leadership integrity are destined to fail. Boris Johnson had huge aspirations, he aimed to be the next Churchill. He may be a good orator with an ability to deliver great speeches, but unfortunately he didn’t have the leadership integrity to back it up.

Let’s pray for Boris Johnson, that he would come to know God in a very real way, humble himself before God’s mighty hand and start to walk in truth, humility and integrity. We can all have a new start in God, no matter what we have done wrong, or the brokenness of our personal lives. This is why Jesus came, to save us from ourselves and forgive our sins. He can redeem our lives and give us a fresh start. Ultimately it is our eternal destiny that is of the greatest importance.

Ethical leadership for Great Britain

Let us also fervently pray that God will raise up a new breed of politicians in the UK who are committed to ethical leadership, telling the truth and behaviour that inspires others to do what is right. Let us no longer promote leaders who lack moral fibre. May God return this nation to sound Christian values that we may live peaceable lives. We Seek God’s Kingdom’ – We pray for believers to transform society

Wordsmith, overcomer and exhorter. Al has a degree in Journalism and Media Studies and years of communications experience in Africa, the UK, Israel and USA. He left South Africa in 2001 and worked for GOD TV in England for 18 years. He now heads up Countdown Creative, a content creation business in Exeter. Al is the author of three biographies. Blogs he writes for include; International Christian and UK and US Christian.

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