December is a time when companies bring employees together to celebrate. Some go offsite to have a party while others find ways to celebrate onsite. The point is that this is a time when people come together to socialize, thank one another and exchange kindnesses. However, it is also a time when some very serious personal mistakes occur. These usually involve drinking alcohol, and now perhaps getting too high on marijuana (where it is legal). It is a time to choose. Should we take that one more drink or one more puff of weed? The choice we make may have severe consequences leading to death on the highway, a broken relationship because of inappropriate behavior, or a rupture in the workplace due to misplaced anger. Make sure your choice is both on the right side of the law and your personal dignity and integrity. Take care out there. You are important and needed.
Jim approaches you. Jim is your boss. He asks you to give an honest opinion of his idea. What goes through your mind? Do thoughts like: if I tell him what I really think I may lose my job, or, he will think less of me, or, he may not give me that raise I think I deserve. What if his idea is illegal, dangerous or unsafe. Do you make your boss feel good and cosy up to him, or do you tell the truth? Maybe you fudge your answer or maybe you tell him what you think is a 'little white lie." What choice will you make?
What do you do when you are confronted with an unpredictable boss? Lucy is caught in an ethical minefield. She never knows what her boss's next move will be. He says one thing and does another; he blames others rather than take ownership for his own decisions; he loves the 'bright lights' when things go right, but hides behind others when things go south; he likes to be liked and gets angry when things don’t go his way; he want's to roll out new products and services before due diligence and process is completed; he operates from misinformation and his own bias without checking facts and coming to grips with his stereotypical approaches. Lucy needs the work and he pays her extremely well; she is competent in what she does and is confident in her abilities. She enjoys her work but is constantly faced with ethical dilemmas. Does all this sound familiar? What should Lucy do? More importantly, what would you do?
Paul thought he was successful. You see Paul was deeply in debt so to get out of debt he robbed a bank. Paul was never caught for his crime. He paid off all of his debts. He thought he was successful, but he is still not out of debt. He owes the bank a huge sum of money. Ah but there is more. After paying off his debt he still had money left over, enough to invest to pursue the good life. Over the years Paul was never caught. Do we forgive Paul or does he still have to pay his dues for robbing the bank? Did Paul build his fortune with money that wasn't rightfully his? What choices does Paul have now? Was he successful? How does this apply in the workplace?
How would you respond to your employer who praises you for a job well done, while knowing full well that your colleague did most of the work?
Would you respond without reference to your colleague? Or, only mention him in passing? Or, make sure he gets most of the credit? Or, move the conversation so that both of you get credit?
How you respond is an ethical choice and will reflect on your integrity.
Joe thought he had all his basis covered at work. He was a hard worker. He liked his job, came in early and often stayed late to finish things that were piling up. However, Joe had a secret. He often took things from the office: from time to time a ream of paper for his home computer, pens, a small tool, a stapler, a bag of coffee from the staff kitchen. Always things that he could easily stick in his back pack or brief case. They were just little things which went unnoticed. He convinced himself that he wasn't really stealing from the company. He was just compensating for the work he did for coming in early or leaving late. Joe was making a choice to steal from his company bit by bit.
Do you find yourself taking something that doesn't belong to you from the office? Do you think it will tarnish your integrity? Is it something small that could lead to something big? The choices we make regarding small things often determine the way people will view our integrity in the long term.