OK readers….. I have a scenario for you that I would love your opinion on. I can’t give all the exact details here…. to protect the innocent… but I’ll do my best to set the scene.
Let’s say you have a group of people who are working together. In order for them to accomplish their goal, they all have to do their part and work together as a team. In your efforts of working together, your goal is to outperform another similar group doing the same thing. Each group has a Leader… someone who calls the shots, makes the decisions, and yet has respect for everyone in the group. However, let’s say this Leader can made a decision that the whole group doesn’t agree with, but because he’s the Leader…. no one says anything to him, even though they strongly disagree and even feel the decision is wrong…. ethically wrong.
Now the second group of people that you are trying to outperform has never worked with you before….. doesn’t know the people in your group at all. Never seen them as a matter of fact. They are trying to be the best performers in this competition and let’s say they are ‘playing by the rules’.
As the end of the goal approaches that each group is working for…. and the first group seems to be closing in on the competition…. someone in the second group finds out some how that this decision made by the Leader of the first group is actually a way of ‘cheating’ to reach the goal. When it’s brought to their attention, let’s say they go to the head of the Corporation or CEO and ‘tell’ on them. After consideration and checking out to see if in fact what the first group was doing was cheating….. the CEO decides the competition is over…. done with…. and whatever prize that would have been the first groups is stripped from them.
Now….. bear in mind that the Leader of the first group sincerely thought that the decision he made was in the best interest of the group and believed in his mind that the group all agreed to support it…. even though they didn’t…. but they never spoke up about it for various reasons. Keep in mind that now the Leader of the first group is very remorseful and saddened by what just occurred. Saddened both by the fact that he knew himself that it was a risky decision and also that they were ‘caught’ in the act and what that would mean for the group. Up to this point, the first group of people had a good reputation amongst the other groups they competed with….. but now that reputation would appear to be tainted.
What would you do if you were a member of this first group? Would you have stood up to the Leader and spoke your mind knowing that possibly it would affect whether you won the competition or not? What’s more important?
I witnessed a very similar scenario today. It wasn’t pleasant to see and it hurt several people emotionally in the process. I think there were a lot of people in this group that were disappointed that the Leader would even consider it, knowing it was wrong and just thinking that they could possibly get away with it. But now it’s over and done…. nothing can be done about it. Lessons were learned….. the hard way….. and at the expense of everyone involved…. even though they didn’t really want it.
Now comes the time to move on….. to realize that it was a mistake. A mistake for the Leader to suggest it…. a mistake for the group members to not stand up against the decision. It doesn’t help to point fingers and try to place blame. All people involved were wrong to some degree. They got what they deserved, they paid the consequences. Now it’s time to forgive and forget.
That will be the hard part for many of them. Forgive and forget. Perhaps it will sink in that each of them were just as much at fault by not taking a stand. There needs to be some forgiving of themselves too.
I’m grateful to have learned such a hard lesson today. Though it may take some time to completely recover from the consequences…. there is always a lesson to be learned. For each person individually. One of the most important lessons here is to tell the truth! Speak up when you know you should. Refuse to be a part of something you know is wrong….. even when taking that stand could affect the rest of the group. It’s not always easy to be the one standing for something you believe in. But at least you can walk away feeling good about yourself!
I am Grateful! How are you?