What does it mean to do the right thing? -Leadership NB Prompt #3

What does it mean to do the right thing even when there’s a popular shortcut?

Seth’s story about the ambulance story, about them not paying a bribe to get 911 and instead of taking 1298, really makes a clear point. We choose every day which “shortcuts” vs “right things” we are going to accept; what do we find acceptable.

I think doing the right thing often means choosing the harder path otherwise, why would we have shortcuts and that is what we are talking about here. Not doing the job as well as you should, or picking the easy way out are all kind of lazy. We see people do it all the time and it is easy for us to say to ourselves “they did it wrong” or “they made a bad choice”. But are we examining ourselves and ensuring that we are staying on the right path with all the choices we make?

Consider the journey that you and your team are on. Do the ends justify the means? Which means? What’s right and where do you draw the line? Does everyone in your culture draw the line in the same place?

For some reason, I thought of a news story I had read not too long ago where a hacker actually hacked broken systems as a way to patch them before the bad guys got access. I think he crossed the line honestly, there is more to the story that would make you agree, but sticking with what I have told you so far he has crossed the line. No one will ever know what he did (unless he tells or gets caught), but the short truth is he wants to claim to be acting on behalf of the “good guys” yet takes the same kind of shady action a bad guy would…

If we are drawing lines here; accessing people’s machines without permission, even to “fix” things is not acceptable. I have heard of other companies causing problems for their clients so that they can make more money when things go wrong. I think Hektechologies is the first time I have heard of something that is intentionally designed so that the more problems the clients have the less profit Hektech makes. As I work on My Tribal Job I have tried to bring the same level of awareness to the process. I have worked hard to make it an open and transparent process. Although I have found I failed at my goal of doing so when it comes to making sure people really understand the path we are on and the reasons for each decision.

I think this little look at culture makes that problem a little easier to understand. I have not fostered the right culture in all of my projects. At least, I have not always thought about what potentially, my actions or the things I am saying will mean to my team when it comes to culture.

What sort of control are you willing to give up to get closer to your goal?

If I knew that things were on the right course I would happily give up all control. But I think that only happens when the team I am working with understands the culture I am trying to portray and what it means long term. So have I really given up any control when these things are in place?

Spencer Heckathorn

I've been writing online on and off for nearly 20 years now. But I have been building online businesses and trying to figure out different ways to make money online consistently for 15 years. Recently you can find me writing on https://foodieresults.com and posting odd musings to Twitter @mrhobbeys. I also have a mailing list I'm passionate about growing because email and a personal website are better ways for people to do social media.

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