Integrity as the Core of Leadership

Megan Schoenleb

November 19, 2018

On Monday, November 19th the fellows of the Philadelphia Commons Institute had the pleasure of hearing and discoursing with Rev. Dr. Malcolm T. Byrd, who currently serves as a Sr. Manager with the American Bible Society, President of NewCORE, and as Coordinator of the nonpartisan Philadelphia Lawyers and Collars Campaign. His current and former occupations in both church and civic leadership allows for a unique perspective on what it to lead, and his words to the fellows were sincere and thought-provoking.

In his talk, Rev. Byrd emphasized the importance of integrity in a leader, especially in relation to God and others: “I have to live with me every single day, before God and before you.” Humility was highlighted as a key part of integrity; integrity must accommodate for the fact that one person does not have all the answers. Rev. Byrd also talked about how leaders must have respect for others and their individual journeys with Christ. Leadership, in addition to being a task or a job, is an opportunity to serve the people God has created and loves.  

Discussion after the talk focused on how one deals with the struggles of maintaining integrity through such things as personal growth and change. There was also conversation on the daunting responsibility of leadership, especially in the context of speaking in front of others. The dialogue closed with Rev. Byrd speaking about his occupation at NewCORE and his position on race. On the whole, the Reverend seemed to enjoy the discussion, as did the fellows. The topic of integrity in leadership was and is interesting as well as important, and the conversation is one worth continuing.