By J.T. O’Donnell
Recently, I’ve heard some alarming stories where people who had deep professional respect for someone found out something about the person that rocked them to the core.
One was a young professional who dreamed of working for a well-known local businessman. He had passionately pursued a job with the man for over a year. He was finally rewarded with the coveted job of being the man’s assistant. He was still riding the high of landing his dream job when his new boss asked him to start lying to his wife for him because he was having an affair and didn’t want her to find out.
Another was of a well-respected manager who had a staff of over 50 people that adored her. She was known for being available to help anyone and worked incredibly long-hours to make sure she connected with her staff as much as possible. Her division was showing solid profitability and she was being called ‘the posterchild’ for being a great leader….until she got caught fudging the numbers AND stealing from the company.
My question is this: When you’ve admired and wanted to emulate someone for their professional savvy, only to find out something terrible/questionable about their ethics, can that respect ever be restored?
I ask because our increasing embracment of social media is causing a new level of transparency that is going to significantly increase these kinds of situations. We are ALL humans, which means, we are basically programmed to make bad judgment calls and plenty of mistakes. The old phrase, ‘Don’t throw stones at glass houses,” comes to mind. And yet, as a society, I don’t think we are quite equipped to forgive and forget these kinds of professional errors.
So, I’ve created a 3 question, 30 second survey in an effort to see:
A) how many of us have experienced something like this. And,
B) how many of us were able to forgive.
Take the survey and I’ll post the answers in a follow-up article.
And of course, share your comments below as well!