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This is a true story, written by Emory Thomas Jr., and was printed in the Wall Street Journal.

Ernest “Bud” Miller was the president and chief executive officer of Arvida, which is a real-estate company. Mr. Miller closed regional offices, reorganized departments, and laid off half of his work force, which meant 1300 people lost their jobs. Now, I understand already this doesn’t make him sound like a popular guy. Let me explain. By doing this he turned a money-losing company into a money-making one. If the company had remained in the red, all the people would have been fired. By Mr. Miller’s downsizing, he saved 1300 jobs from being lost.

Anyway, despite all the cuts, Mr. Miller believed that one more thing had to go. So, he resigned. He gave up his job. This is what he said: “I couldn’t justify me to me. I couldn’t look at the people I let go and say that I applied a different standard to me. Every fiber of my person wanted to stay. But professionally this was the decision that had to be made.”

So, his resignation eliminated one of the 2 senior jobs at the company. The chief operating officer became the chief executive. Bud Miller, age 53, gave up an “upper six figure salary package” – that is, over ½ a million dollars a year salary, because he wanted what was best for the team. I’ll tell you, real integrity is seen when we do what is right even at our own expense.

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