All the time

We will act fairly.

Once this bad period is over.

As soon as we have launched this very important new service.

When the new manager will be up to speed.

If only we would win this next bet.

The fact is, integrity does not allow conditions. You are either fair, or you are not. And actually, once you start cheating, cutting corners, taking shortcuts, there is good evidence that you are onto a slippery slope that will take you deeper down the hole. Raising up from there is not as easy as one would think.

Find your principles, set your boundaries, draft your rules. And be genuinely committed to them.

All the time.

The lesson I learned from this is that it’s easier to hold to your principles 100% of the time than it is to hold to them 98% of the time. If you give in to “just this once,” based on a marginal cost analysis, as some of my former classmates have done, you’ll regret where you end up. You’ve got to define for yourself what you stand for and draw the line in a safe place.

Clayton Christenses, How will you measure your life?

P.S.: How important this is for organizations! This is why organizational culture fails so often. As culture is often built in meetings and not anchored to reality, a company can find hundreds of ways and reasons to deviate from it. When that happens, there is no sanction. And the culture drifts …

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