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The cover-up is always worse than the crime.
You can apply the lessons learned from Richard Nixon’s unprecedented disgrace to your company. If you make a mistake, admit to it—completely and without dissembling—as soon as possible. Your employees and customers and investors do not expect you to be infallible. But they do expect you to be honest. And if they discover that you have lied to them in one area, however small, that will in many ways overshadow whatever other successes you may have had.