In light of today’s milieu within the political, sports and business worlds, it might be a good time for some personal reflection. Are you facing all your challenges with honesty and integrity?

Honesty is a must if you are going to retain the trust of those you work with. The Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary-11th Edition defines honesty as “a fairness and straightforwardness of conduct” or “adherence to the facts.” It also says that the synonyms “Honesty, honor, integrity, probity mean uprightness of character or action. Honesty implies a refusal to lie, steal or deceive in any way. Honor suggests an active or anxious regard for the standards of one’s profession, calling or position. Integrity implies trustworthiness and incorruptibility to a degree that one is incapable of being false to a trust, responsibility or pledge. Probity implies tried and proven honesty or integrity.”

I know that most of you adhere to these tenets, but temptations can come up. Sometimes it might seem the expeditious thing to do is cave in. If that happens, resist. How would that affect you and what possible repercussions would there be if that action were discovered? Think about your profession. If one person is caught taking liberty with the truth or making fraudulent or self-serving deals, the entire profession comes under scrutiny.

A special price or discount that would be offered to anyone in the same situation is OK. A kickback or other incentive that is only offered to one individual or facility and is done with any sort of secrecy is not honest. Accepting a trip to see how a product is used elsewhere might be fine, if any of your decisions are based on what you learned and not on what was offered. Any offer that benefits you personally and not the facility is eventually, if not immediately, going to undermine your integrity. If you have any qualms about an offer, there is probably a good reason.

Another reason to avoid dishonest situations is that they are often associated with inferior products or services. A salesperson with a good product or service can sell on the merits. If you purchase and use an inferior product, you might be compromising safety or playability.

Certainly, especially in the long run, you are going to be much better off if you avoid the temptation to compromise your principles and the honor of your profession. If given an offer that is going to benefit you personally and take anything away from the facility, refuse it. See it for what it really is, a step on a slippery slope that you don’t want to set foot on.

You may contact the author at stevetrusty@sportsfieldmanagementmagazine.com.