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New York Governor Eliot Spitzer today confirmed he met with a prostitute in a Washington hotel room.  He apologized for his actions and said little more.  He did not say if he planned to resign.

“I apologize first and most importantly to my family. I apologize to the public, to whom I promised better,” he said.

He’s clearly a disappointment to everyone now.  His family, his state, and his party (he’s a Democrat).

It’s going to be really easy to throw darts at this guy, and I’m going to resist that.  He needed to apologize.  He needs to resign.  What he did was wrong and corrupts the public trust.

However, what he did, as wrong as it is, is a symptom of a core problem of the power of politics.  It’s sad when any of us falls, regardless of party affiliation or religious background.  Any of us, as fallen human beings, are susceptable to the temptation of power in all of its forms, whether financial, influential, sexual, or otherwise.  I don’t know Spitzer, but I know myself well enough to be wary about the influence power can have over me.

This is a message to anyone who is in or considering entering politics or climbing high the ladder in business or any career… find someone, a friend, a partner, a spouse, a family member, that you can be completely open with ask them to hold you accountable.  Let them ask you the hard questions.  Believe it or not, the influence of accountability at a personal level can not only be powerful in helping you maintain your integrity, it can help you strengthen your relationships with others in ways you could never imagine, it can help you prioritize your life in ways that will help you build on what is important, and it can help build the respect and esteem of those who are most important to you: your family and your friends.

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