By this I mean I can't soften on what's right in order to get a thumbs up, a perk or a check from someone who would have me give a "thumbs up, a perk or a check" on something wrong - be it themselves or an idea.
Every leader has to face this in a significant way, if not on an ongoing basis.
I'm not necessarily referring to an obvious, under-the-table deal. I'm talking about a grey area where you let your desire to further a dream become a logistical nightmare, or you allow your fear to not rock the boat cause you to water down a confrontation. Far too many good men and women sell their influence and passion to someone who has a big bank roll but a small character... and it's hard to ever overcome it.
There are times, though, when you get blessed for doing the right thing. Just make sure it doesn't alter your trajectory. Don't let anyone put a price tag on your leadership no matter how much pressure you are under.
Develop a culture where character matters, starting with your own.
My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism. Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in filthy old clothes also comes in. If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, “Here’s a good seat for you,” but say to the poor man, “You stand there” or “Sit on the floor by my feet,” have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? (James 2:1-4)