My daughter came home from college this week excited that a guy offered her $100 to write a paper for him. Easy money, and she needs it. Every time I turn around, there is another opportunity to have a conversation about choices and ethics and the long-term impact of our every-day decisions.
Ashley is interested in med school. So we talked about how selling her services, in this case, would elevate someone else to compete at her level in the med school application process. Not to mention that it’s cheating. Even if you’re not the cheater, benefitting from the cheater can be equally dangerous.
What continues to take me aback is that this message is an “aha.” My daughter lives in a world where this conduct is more the norm than the exception, and has been for a long time. The business community is finally waking up to the impact of poor decisions and unethical behavior in the ranks. Bottom line, when trust goes down in an organization, productivity goes down and cost goes up. If you are interested in more about that concept, pick up “The Speed of Trust”, by Stephen Covey.
In the meantime, when you see examples of unethical behavior at home or in the workplace, it’s time to stop and have a conversation. I fully believe that part of getting this great country back on its feet, is re-teaching the fundamentals of ethics. It’s bad to cheat, whether on a test, a mortgage, a marriage or a business. It’s a lesson some of us only learn the hard way.