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Leadership is impossible without integrity. And integrity is inconceivable without doing the right thing even if it costs you.

The true story is told of a father who took his son shopping for a guitar. The boy had worked hard to save enough money to purchase a Gibson guitar, the one of his dreams. And the father encouraged him and said, “I will pay the taxes.” They went to the store and they found the exact instrument the boy dreamed of owning and playing. The son was beyond excited as they walked to the counter to pay for his prized instrument. The salesman recognized the father and said, “Although this is a personal item for your son, if you agree your son can purchase the guitar without tax by you allowing him to use your business account to pay for it. Together you can save a sizeable amount of money.” The father replied, “No, it's a personal item. And I promised my son I would help him by paying the taxes. The salesman protested, “Well nobody would know or care if you paid the company for the invoice.” Again the father responded, “Sir, that's not true. Because I would know, my son would know, and God would know, and so would you. I care about my integrity. My integrity cannot be compromised for a few dollars. I want to do the right thing even when it cost me. I hope my son will always be a man who will do the right thing even when it costs him.”

Parents, you can't complain if your child doesn’t tell the truth if you are dishonest or compromise the truth. The proverb writer challenges parents to train their children in the way they should go. How do you do that? Well, the best and most compelling way to train them is by personally setting an example of the way they should go. We reproduce who we are not what we say. Integrity is doing the right thing even if it costs you.

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