I learned early in my career that it’s better to fail with honour than to succeed by dishonesty. The company where I was working held what were referred to as “competitions” for certain jobs, consisting of written tests that were part aptitude and part technical knowledge. Although a number of us were working overtime, two of whom were going to write the test for a particular posting in a couple of days, our boss had gone home earlier. Someone noticed that he had inadvertently left a copy of the test on his desk, and pointed this out to the two aspirants. One of them refused to look at it, but the other one studied it carefully. Predictably, the one who studied the test scored very well and got the promotion. However, he didn’t keep the new job very long. Not only did it quickly become obvious that he wasn’t really qualified to hold the position, but the gap between how he did on the test and how he performed on the job was so great that his unauthorized preview of the test was uncovered and he was fired.
Better to fail with honour than succeed by fraud.
Be honest and you will guarantee that there’s one less deceiver in the world.
Honesty is never a weakness.
The right things to do are usually simple, direct and honest.
It’s easy to fool a devious person, but very difficult to fool an honest person.
A person who will steal for you will steal from you.
Being honest means you sometimes have to risk being disliked; but it’s better to be disliked for what you believe in than to be liked for what you don’t.
You can’t change your ethics according to circumstances.
Being honest is better than being clever; honest motives are superior to clever moves.
There are no degrees of honesty, but limitless degrees of dishonesty.
You can sometimes fool others, but you can never fool yourself.
Excessive flattery will eventually be recognized for exactly what it is: dishonesty.
You can’t fool all the people all the time because some of them are busy fooling you.
As much as we like people to tell us what we want to hear; we also need those who will tell us what we ought to hear.
We tend to believe strangers because they haven’t been dishonest with us yet.
Honest people never try to be something they aren’t.
Maintaining your honesty sometimes carries a heavy price, but it’s always worth paying.