Lie and you’re done, even if you don’t know it yet.

12 06 2015

“Honor is like a match:  you can only use it once.” ~Marcel Pagno

I’ve addressed the concept of “political capital” before.  That’s how you need to do many good things for your team, to fill up the bag with goodwill.  Then, when you need to ask them to do something difficult (i.e. change shifts, work late, go above and beyond the job description), they may draw-down on your reserves of goodwill, and do it without hating you.  There’s a concept beyond building goodwill, and drawing down on the reserves, though.  Acting with dishonor, or violating the trust that our leaders give us to do the right thing can permanently lose the goodwill of your team… and your leader.

There are things that we, as leaders, just can’t do.  You can’t tell an outright lie.  If your team catches you in one, you’ll lose their support forever.  Stealing from a company will get the same results.  Basically, avoid breaking the commandments and stay away from those deadly sins.  That being said, sometimes we’ll be asked questions that we can’t answer.  You can steer the conversation away from the question, you can half-answer the questions, or you can say “that’s not something we should be talking about”, but if you outright lie, and get caught in that lie down the road, understand the consequences, because once you do it, you’re done, even if you don’t know it yet.  Leaders cannot succeed without the support of their team, peers and leaders.

Speaking of honor…


Rubes cartoons used with permission.




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