People compromise every day.
Sometimes its small things like where to eat with your husband or wife. Sometimes its which movie to see with your friend.
Still others compromise their ethics and what they know to be right for many reasons. In business, this is perhaps more prevelant than anytime in recent memory. A tough job market means some professionals will put up – or turn a blind eye – to just about anything to keep their income flowing. It’s hard to fault them for it, or is it?
As professionals if we compromise who we are or what we believe to be right, aren’t we doing more damage than those actually creating these ethical dilemas?
I am reminded of a story I heard second hand about a man who worked for an insurance company. The company was struggling and was beholden to a larger corporation who was starting to demand better results. Instead of making a realistic evaluation of where the company was, this division decided to “cook the books” and make it appear they were doing more than they really were. The parent company, a big insurance provider in the midwest, kept demanding better results and things were getting rough for the management team of this smaller division. They really needed to book more revenue but just weren’t doing enough.
Instead of realizing, especially with new Federal regulations, that they couldn’t hide these losses and cost overruns forever, they cheated and compromised their integrity. The man who worked here was conflicted and knew what he was a part of was wrong. But, he had recently been married and his first child was on the way. He couldn’t afford to “make a point” and call out the malfesoance. Instead, he let it go on.
In the end, the larger corporation found out about it and fired every single employee with any budget oversight, including the Â father-to-be. In the end, he chose to remain at a place where he knew things were not right and paid the price.
The bottom line: never compromise your integrity for any company or anyone.
Be true to yourself and be the professional you know that you are.