All For HIM Marketing Solutions Inc.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Integrity or Technicality

In tough economic times, it's challenging but evermore important that business leaders don't sacrifice integrity on the alter of business success. One way many leaders do this is by using technicalities to justify their actions. I know many of you have seen this in the past and may be witness to it now. Here's one instance I recently experienced.

I have a long time friend who has always displayed integrity and honesty in his leadership. These are two things many people could recognize as his core values without having to ask him. The friend of mine is in a high level leadership position for a well known company that has been disrupted by recent economic struggles. A short time ago, the company he works for witnessed the unfortunate layoffs of over 200 people across the country in one day. While speaking to his nervous team who had just found out the news, he was asked the question, "How will the layoffs effect the sales staff". His answer was that no sales reps would be layed off. I emphasise the term layed off because this was where the technicality took place. One week later, 3 sales reps from that team were relieved of their employment. When talking to my friend about the situation he stated that the sales reps lost their jobs due to performance and were fired... not layed off. I would argue though that they may have been chosen due to their sales performance, however I don't believe those people would have been fired (at least not without notice or at this time) had it not been for downsizing of the company.

Technically, he told the truth. They were chosen to be fired due to performance. Not layed off. However, when looking at this through a lens of integrity, it's easy to see the corporate spin.

We all are suspect to this condition. When times are tough, it's often easy to spin things so that they are technically correct even though we know in our hearts that an incorrect message is being received. Maybe you've told the bank you "technically" make a certain salary so that you could get that loan. Or, maybe you told your insurance you "technically" don't smoke to same on your monthly premium. Or, maybe you told a prospective employer that you "technically" had a certain title in a previous job, even though the title didn't match you experience.

Bottom line is. If you have to justify your integrity with technicalities, you might consider re-communicating your message.

What's your take?


1 comment:

Zac Christian said...


Man I have seen this and even lived in this in the past. So many times it is hard not to take the Easy, Safe, road but I think it should be labeled what it really is "SELFISH". Anytime I have ever lived in this area it was always for ME...