Last year a client shared an incident: an employee who had been working at that company for 15 years was found at the centre of a scam which involved inflating the amount of hours spent working so that each person who participated in this scheme would receive more overtime dollars.
This employee who up until the incident was described as “loyal” was able to influence three other gentlemen who had been working with the company for about two years. When asked how come they chose to participate in something that they knew was wrong, none of them really had a good answer.
I suspect that they thought nothing of it. “We’re not talking millions of dollars and jeez…this company CAN afford it!”
That’s tantamount to rationalizing that a fib is different from a white lie is different from telling an untruth!
If you give in to “just this once,” based on thinking that it’s not so bad…it’s not going to hurt anyone…everybody is doing it so it couldn’t be SO wrong…you will end up, like the guys in my little story – in a place where you did not expect to end up…in their case – terminated. They clearly did not assess the risk accurately, because usually when you make a “just this once decision” you don’t think that you’ll ever get caught. That is stupid thinking. Wise up and follow Clay’s lead –
It’s easier to hold to your principles 100% of the time than it is to hold to them 98% of the time – Clay Christensen