“Integrity without knowledge is weak and useless, and knowledge without integrity is dangerous and dreadful.” Samuel Johnson
What can we say when some of the best and brightest business leaders and politicians have failed us except that they have dangerously undermined our country. As business leaders we must value our personal integrity as well as that of the companies we lead. I write these words as the scandal of Congressman Weiner appears almost daily in the news. Weiner is just one of a way-too-long list of politicians that have shown a complete lack of integrity, which is undermining our faith in our representative government at all levels.
Dozens and dozens of state politicians have been sent to prison. If your state hasn’t had them, either you are very fortunate or the corruption is so deep that no one has been able to penetrate it. Weiner was only recently preceded by Rep. Charles Wrangle, who as Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee (which writes the U.S. tax codes), didn’t know he owed taxes on thousands of dollars in income.
Weiner was preceded by the resignation of Rep. Christopher Lee of New York for his shirtless photo incident. At the same time we have Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger of California with a 10-year lie about his own extramarital affair. It was only a short time ago that Gov. Eliot Spitzer of New York had to resign for his escapades with prostitutes. John Edwards ran for President telling a giant lie to all about his own affair and illegitimate child. Gov. Mark Sanford of South Carolina ran out on his marriage while concocting another lie to cover his affair.
We can go back to the most notorious of all lack of integrity stories when President Clinton could have put the entire nation in jeopardy when he tried to cover up his own scandal. Of course he was preceded by President Nixon, who had his own troubles with integrity. Is there no shame?
Personal Integrity as a Manager
By Jack Marino