Integrity is the key character trait that defines who a person is and what they can become.

This is from a post at Leadership Turn:

The heavy reading comes from Max Bazerman, the Jesse Isidor Straus Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School. A working paper “shows that seemingly innocuous aspects of the environment can promote the decision to act ethically or unethically. Key concepts include:

    • Once people behave dishonestly, they are able to morally disengage, setting off a downward spiral of future bad behavior and ever more lenient moral codes.
    • However, this slippery slope can be forestalled with simple measures, such as honor codes, that increase people’s awareness of ethical standards.
    • Moral disengagement is not always a necessary condition leading to dishonesty, but it may in fact result from unethical behavior.
    • The decision to behave dishonestly changes levels of moral disengagement, and the awareness of ethical standards affects the decision to engage in unethical behavior.”

How does one little white lie always lead to ten that follow it having to cover your tail?  That is because a white lie is never as white as it seems.

Try this for a change.  Tell the Truth.  Not some of the time, not most of the time, but all the time.  Then you won’t have to worry about covering up other lies. 

When you behave dishonestly or lie you try to separate yourself from it so you don’t have to deal with it.  When you don’t deal with things you can’t progress, move on, and be the leader you were meant to be.