Today’s A Fine Line offers a word about lying. This has been a topic of discussion recently in several circles. Suffice it to say, we have probably all been exposed or even the victims of someone lying to us.  I want to shed light on two forms of lying: those who lie by commission and those who lie by omission.

Sure, those who lie overtly (by commission) are easy to spot and certainly become branded as individuals lacking integrity and scruples. Those who lie by ommission are often harder to detect. They are the ones who cower behind email, voice mail, and other people. They are ones who will never own sticking up for their friends and their fellow employees – often requiring them to go against the flow. They claim ignorance of the situation, lack of power, or simply blame it on someone else; and yet, they go along with the crowd and when ask about it, don’t overtly lie, they simply smile and act as if they ‘know nothing.’ And often, to make matters worse, make up little ‘white lies’ to cover the ‘big lie.’

This is lying – plain and simple – by omission. Standing tall, owning the truth, being loyal to our friends, our employees, and our policies requires backbone. Period.

An old friend of mine once told me prior to his death:

“Integrity is standing behind your convictions regardless of the consequences.”

The situations revealed under the bright light are often adultery, stock option backdating, or tax evasion. However, our integrity doesn’t have to be tested at this extreme level to be relevant. Quite the opposite.

The simple, day to day, actions of being truly honest with ourselves and our friends define the person and their character. The bright light will always show up when least expected.