“Be careful to do what is right.” Ro 12:17 NIV

Jeremiah writes, “Like a partridge that hatches eggs it did not lay is the man who gains riches by unjust means…in the end he will prove to be a fool” (Jer 17:11 NIV). Don’t think that you can do whatever you like in small things, and be okay as long as you’ve no major lapses. Whether you steal a dollar or a million dollars, you’re still a thief. Webster’s Dictionary defines integrity as—honesty. Every time you break a moral principle it becomes harder, not easier, to act with integrity. Everything you’ve done in the past, including the things you’ve neglected to do, comes to a head when you’re under pressure. That’s why developing integrity requires constant vigilance. John Morley observed, “No man can rise beyond the limitations of his own character.” And that’s particularly true when you’re a leader. So: (1) Keep your promises. When you make a promise you create hope. When you keep a promise you create trust. (2) Acknowledge your mistakes. When your decisions don’t turn out the way you intended, you owe people an explanation. (3) Apologize and try to make amends. When your actions hurt others you need to admit that what you did was wrong and say you’re sorry. This is usually very painful in the moment. But not only is it the right thing to do, it can actually shorten the agony and help you to put the incident behind you. That’s why you should heed the advice of Thomas Jefferson on this subject: “If you have to eat crow, eat it while it’s young and tender.”