The Ends Justify the Means
While we do not lack for role models who share and demonstrate what it means to consistently live by guiding principles, there is also a fair share of public personalities whose demonstrate the opposite – whose primary guiding principle seems to be the ends justify the means (whatever it takes, or whatever I can get away with). Too often, these personalities seem to be lauded and rewarded, or at the very least, they seem to encounter few and feeble consequences for behaving and speaking in ways that reflect and reinforce that value.
The external pressures of fierce competition and the rush to results, along with our internal drive to win or a focus on personal gain (to the detriment of personal integrity) also pose as obstacles to citizen leadership. They can prompt individuals to adopt the attitude that the ends justify the means – and put them in a position of ignoring their own principles.
But in the end, we are the final arbiters of our actions.