When I was a college student, I never buy into the idea of cheating or copying someone else's answers, not only because I have a poor eyesight, but also I'd rather suffer the consequences of failing on my subjects than passing with flying colors by cheating all the time. Because cheating is like, stealing someone's hard work.

Unfortunately, integrity suddenly became a scarce commodity. Doing the right thing even when it hurts, no longer value by most people today. I've heard some people that cheating has always been a part of student life, that you will never survive college without doing it. That wasn't a  surprising fact because some professors or teachers are unaware that it teaches students to cheat also by not teaching them well or to the best of their ability.

(C) jobadge from Flickr

(C) jobadge from Flickr

That was one of the reasons also why we cannot find integrity in the government. People who are especially in the position of power, use their authority to cheat the people, making their integrity in question.

But let's take a look what are the common causes why most people lack integrity:

  • Performance-Driven Culture
  • Succeed-at-all-cost mentality
  • Success only means fulfilling expectations.
  • Pleasing others

It was a surprising fact that most students nowadays possess these qualities. It's scary because our future is in their hands. They eventually become our future leaders, influencers and decision makers.

I was watching the movie "Broken City" earlier. The movie was about how a politician plays a major role in the development of the city yet he was consumed by his own selfish passions. Sacrificing the community for self-gain. Buying people to gain votes. Using words to lie and cheat - which clearly portrays what most leaders are like these days.

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But how about leaders with integrity? What separates them from the crowd? Let's take a look at it also:

  • Leaders with integrity are honest.
  • Leaders with integrity focus on their mission.
  • Leaders with integrity are accountable.
  • Leaders with integrity are trustworthy.
  • Leaders with integrity are humble.
  • Leaders with integrity are transparent.

And so many to mention. And to whom we can look for these qualities?. JESUS. 

We can take a look as an example how we should lead our people and organization with integrity.

Jesus was accountable to his disciples. He was transparent to them, letting them know everything he has in his mind.  He is also accountable to his Father in heaven. He is focused on his mission and never been distracted by any circumstances.

Jesus showed us how a leader should be. And I believe it starts with character development that usually starts when we are being tested. When we are being tempted to compromise, because during the test, it exposes who really we are. It exposes the depths and selfishness of our hearts, showing every wrong motive we have. But also, it is our responsibility to take action to improve it.

Character is doing the right thing even when it costs more than you want to pay. When it comes to character, you dont have to be sick to get better. Its easier for a good person to get better than for a bad person to get good. - Michael Josephson

Doing the right thing hurts at first, but you will reap its reward in due time. Do the right thing even when it hurts. Want to be a leader? Live with integrity first. As Zig Ziglar once said:

It is true that integrity alone won't make you a leader but without integrity, you will never be one.

Doing the right is hard and sometimes painful, but remember, we grow not when we are comfortable and lazy, we grow outside the comfort zone. Doing the right thing is outside of the comfort zone because not everyone is doing it. And if we want to be successful, we should be doing the things that others are not willing to do.

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I blog about my discoveries and learnings with personal development, blogging, writing, public speaking, and publishing. I am a Jesus follower. Each month, I send out a newsletter with free tips on those topics.

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