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The hard truth by 'Z': Slimy, Sleazy and Smart

Ethical behavior that leaves wiggle room

by on
in Firing,Human Resources

I’m not going to tell you that it’s OK to lie, cheat and steal. But I’m also not going to preach that you should act like a Boy Scout or Girl Scout all the time. There’s a middle ground—and that’s the smart place to be.

Listen, it’s easy to give speeches about how your department must maintain “the highest ethical standards.” That means nothing. Zero. Zip.

Talking about how honest you are doesn’t make it so. In fact, most veteran business people find such assurances worrisome. The folks with the cleanest record don’t discuss it. They let their actions do the talking.

Full disclosure or partial truth?

When I’m talking to employees about our plans for the next quarter, I can’t say, “This all depends on whether I negotiate a merger next week,” or, “Some of you in this room won’t be around by the end of next quarter because I’m canning you.”

To me, the No. 1 ethical dilemma is deciding how much to tell people. When you’re CEO, y...(register to read more)

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