Sunday, 10 June 2012 00:00

Ethics, Liars, and Naïveté

Rate this item
(0 votes)

Image on ethics

Are there any ethics in business today? Time and again, headlines proclaim where companies and leaders have gone astray. You cannot help but wonder what our fellow humans will do next. Men and women in search of money, power, fame, or all three, decide they are exempt from the rules and social norms the rest of us struggle to follow. It boggles the mind. Unethical, however, is just a waypoint in the spectrum from truth to criminal. Face it, we are all liars. It may be telling our children about Santa Claus, portraying our speed to the policeman, covering up a politician's extramarital affair, or promising fortunes through investments in Ponzi products. Deceit is everywhere.

Lies Are Good

The reality, though, little lies are needlessly damaging. A well stated fact in this blog and my book that I routinely and randomly obfuscate the gender, business domain, and timeframes in case studies and business examples. Is this a lie or does it show integrity? Many have scolded the practice as selfishly protecting me from ridicule, which is ridiculing in and of itself, hence I lose either way. The non-disclosure agreements have long since expired on most of the stories, so I could easily include all the details. I simply feel they are impertinent to the lesson and therefore can be changed with no consequence to the essay's value and no humiliation to the subject. There is little to gain from these trivial details.

Stupidity

All of us have all fallen into the trap of believing a falsehood so completely that we ignorantly espouse its virtues. The ethical tipping point with stupidity is how quickly we listen to contrary data. Will we question our beliefs in search of something closer to the truth? Familiar is the pompous individual who spouts out "facts" based on some set of beliefs that they hold true and who refuse to consider any number of contrary logical arguments. More than once, I have clenched my teeth in a similar situation in order to refrain from blurting out Dan Aykroyd's famous decree on Jane Curtin's ignorance.

The Other Shoe Drops

Help a Needy Non-Profit

The Portland Business Journal is sponsoring a contest called Social Madness. The winner gets to donate $10,000 to their favorite charity. If we win, will choose the Native American Youth Association (NAYA) in Portland to receive the funds. However, we are miles behind and need your help in voting us up the list and keep using the running. Please, go to the Social Madness website and on the Small Business page vote for eCameron and help my Granddaughter.

A few weeks ago, I posed a personal dilemma encountered with a new prospect's employee. The owner was the archetypal progressive and open leader that would make a refreshing client. One of their executives, however, seemed to fabricate a nonexistent conflict. In the spirit of candidness, I had a meeting with the owner to determine what we had done to offend them. That article left the reader with the owner's perplexed query, "Nothing, what makes you think that?"

Many people would halt the investigation and proceed with business, instead, the owner and I decided to hold a meeting with the four people involved—him, the executive, my employee (who was the intermediary of the comment), and myself. We met at an upscale bar and he described the problem factually. The rouge executive said what I most feared, "I never said that, there must be a misunderstanding." The ensuing conversation was riddled with inconsistencies. My only choice was to politely decline to do business with the company. Although the owner was infinitely ethical, he was too naïve, creating intolerable risk. His steadfastness in assuming positive intent translated into lack of judgment. Waiting a number of weeks to see if he would call back, I eventually contacted him to say he should look for another company to do the work. He was notably upset and took the refusal personally. Nothing good ever comes of these situations.

Questioning Ethics

Referring back to the second section of this article—Lies Are Good—I claim that the names, genders, or any other identifying data is irrelevant to the story. Here, however, is the story about dealing with someone's lies (since then many other situations have surfaced) or is it reporting on a condition that others will continue to succumb unless the perpetrator divulge? By obfuscating the person's identity, am I leaving others open to the same fate? Have I wandered down the path from truth to lie so far that concealing the name is morally wrong? Please, give me your input.

Read 8716 times

Related items

  • Filling Execution Gaps

    Executives define vision, strategy, and goals to advance the business. Projects enable companies to meet those goals. Between strategy and projects, there is a lot of work to be done—work that lays the foundation for the projects’ success. Through experience and research, six common gaps exist in organizations that inhibit project success—absence of common understanding, disengaged executive sponsors, misalignment with goals, poor change management, ineffective governance, and lackluster leadership.

  • Get Recognized as a Leader: Four Core Leadership Actions

    Leaders make decisions. This requires a core set of actions to gather the best information, hear out the concerns of others, and making a decision that everyone will follow—even if they do not necessarily agree with the decision. This session covers the four core leadership actions (listening, dialog and discussion, selling a vision, and elimination of blame) that are critical in your journey as a leader. We discuss and practice these actions in small role-playing groups.

  • Build Your Leadership Style: Six Leadership Strategies

    As project managers, you need to change your leadership style based on the situation. The need for a situational style is more important in project management than in nearly any other business position. Commanding the six core strategies—directive, expert, consensus, engaging, coaching, and affiliative—allows you to build the style most appropriate for the conditions surrounding project.

  • Extreme Leadership: A Matter of Life and Death

    Leadership at any level of the company can save your business. It also saves lives. It could be your own life; it could be a stranger’s life. This opening or lunch keynote takes project management and leadership out of the mundane and safe work environment, inspiring your audience by seeing how leadership and good analysis shape and change lives.

  • Develop Your Inner Leader: Nine Leadership Traits

    One cornerstone of leadership is our personality traits. Project managers need to develop and hone nine core traits—accountability, ethics, inspiration, decisiveness, awareness, empathy, confidence, focus, and humility—to ensure they can lead our diverse work forces. This track session is a deep dive into these traits using a roundtable discussion format—the audience voices there opinion of what the trait is and the presenter moderates the discussion and gives guidance on what that means in a business setting.

Leave a comment

Filling Execution Gaps

Available Worldwide

Filling Exectution Gaps cover

Filling Execution Gaps is available worldwide. Below are some options.

 

PG DirectLogo
Limited Time Price $20.99
Amazon logo
Book or Kindle
Flag of the United States Canadian Flag Flag of the United Kingdom Irish Flag Deutsche Flagge
Drapeau Français Bandiera Italiana PRC flag
Japanese flag
Bandera de España
Flag of India
Bandera de México
Bandeira do Brasil
Flag of Australia
Vlag van Nederland
DeG Press Logo
Barnes and Noble Logo
Books a Million Logo
Booktopia Logo
Worldwide: Many other
book sellers worldwide.

Rescue The Problem Project

Internationally acclaimed

Image of RPP

For a signed and personalized copy in the US visit the our eCommerce website.

Amazon logo
Buy it in the United States Buy it in Canada Buy it in the United Kingdom
Buy it in Ireland Buy it in Germany Buy it in France
Buy it in Italy Buy it in the PRC
Buy it in Japan
Book sellers worldwide.

Upcoming Events

Other's References

More Info on Project Recovery

Tell me More!

Please send me more information
on fixing a failing project.

Sitemap