According to Aristotle, integrity can be defined as the “particular quality men acquire by constantly acting in a particular way”. It is the sense of honesty and rectitude, towards our moral and ethical principles. We’ve discussed at length how compromising integrity can damage our reputation, how people decide to act against integrity for personal benefits, and ultimately cause irreparable damage among followers. So is it really worth compromising integrity for a big paycheck? Is losing reputation worth the money? Throughout the essay, numerous examples of compromised integrity will be discussed focusing on the Aristotelian view of Leadership. The philosopher’s Seven Virtues will ultimately allow us to understand and reach to a conclusion regarding such doubts.
Lance Armstrong’s doping scandal is one example that truly illustrates the negative consequences of defying integrity. The lawsuit against the Former American cyclist was originally filled by a former teammate. The ethical issue of using money from the U.S. postal service to unfairly associate it with a sophisticated doping program is what led this former athlete from hero to zero. Denial and disagreements between him and his people arose until he finally decided to confess his unmoral actions. Despite the confession, he was stripped of his record seven tour de France titles, and was banned for life by the United States Anti-Doping Agency. To make things worse, his “Livestrong” foundation’s vision was irreversibly destroyed. He compromised his integrity, preaching visions that were contrary to his actions, and as a consequence, people lost trust and respect in him. He ignored justice and prudence for financial aspirations, which ultimately led to not only losing all what he achieved, but to also losing respect from everyone. “Reputation is our most precious asset” (John A. White).
Bobby Petrino’s inappropriate relationship is yet another example that infers how compromising integrity leads to severe outcomes. Jeff Long discussed how Petrino’s firing decision was ultimately guided by the lack of integrity and transparency in the former coach, having an extramarital affair wasn’t “illegal”, but it was ethically wrong. He violated the second Aristotelian Virtue of “Faith”. Leading with Integrity discussed how trust is the guiding principle of servant leadership, and that effective leadership is seen when mutual trust coexist between the leader and the followers. In Petrino’s case, the coach compromised Long’s trust by lying, which tore down the Athletic Director’s faith in him. “Trust is a 100% or 0% thing, either you trust or you don’t” (Jeff Long). As a consequence of his actions, Petrino’s reputation was irreversibly damaged. Unfortunately, someone’s reputation is based on his/her worse behavior, not the best. Petrino will always be remembered as the coach who cheated, rather than the coach who led us to be top 3 in the National Rankings.
Unfortunately, the people entering the famous...