While working at a bank many years ago, I approved a $10,000 fraudulent transaction. When the FBI showed me pictures of the man who had pulled a fast one on me, I didn’t even recognize him. In fact, the whole situation was kind of a blur. At some point, they pulled the footage from the branch security cameras and, as I flipped through photos of myself smiling and giving what appeared to be excellent customer service to a man on the FBI’s watch list, I could hardly believe my naivety. Unbelievably, I wasn’t fired. Though it would have been completely justified. My boss really stepped up for me. He wasn't normally the sympathetic type, but I think he was just as blown away by the situation as I was. Clearly, that wasn’t a shining moment in my career. In fact, I’d venture to say it was the biggest and most devastating mistake I’ve made at any point in my professional life. Thankfully, I don’t believe in failure. So, I see this as a critically important lesson in judgment at work.
February 16, 2013