Integrity is usually defined as doing the right thing when no one is watching. A person who lacks integrity will make decisions based on how it will make them look rather than how it will benefit others. They look at their actions as a performance to be rated for approval rather than a step toward doing the right thing for the community.
Watch out because these people tend to yearn for the spotlight and will do whatever it takes to get there—even if it means doing the right thing, but only in front of an audience. Pay attention to how they make decisions when no one watches over them. Observe how they treat people who are lower in rank or status.
Watch for these behaviors: People who lie, break promises, make decisions based on greed, or cheat on their spouses have not broken the law, but they are unethical.
When people lead with a “do as I say, not as I do” manner, expect others to resent the double standard. Cognitive dissonance occurs when an admired role model behaves in a manner that is distasteful to those around them. Even in what might be considered a small white lie, their lack of integrity signals hypocrisy and, in time, will damage their reputation.
“The safest road to Hell is the gradual one—the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.”—C. S. Lewis.