My experience over the last 10 years at least is that nearly every single person I encounter and have the chance to have a conversation knows the difference between right and wrong. They will readily admit they don’t always make the right choice, but they do know the difference. So, why do some in leadership positions continue to think they can fool people when they do wrong?
This not only breaks trust, it convinces those who watch that the deceiver is either simply evil, or believes they don’t know the difference. Some things are just wrong, even if not illegal. Why attempt to convince those who know the difference, when it will eventually catch up? I suppose the ones deceiving are convinced they are smart enough to blame others or hide the wrongdoing. But the truth always comes out, even if it takes years. What kind of legacy is important to you?
If we simply are honest when we make an honest mistake, or actually do wrong, it will go a long way toward regaining trust. At least the deception can begin to become honesty. That is a legacy I could live with.