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Cheaters only win in the short term

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in Workplace Communication

Sometimes the biggest leaders tell the biggest lies. They may have a talent for it, too. But as William Shakespeare once said: “At the length truth will out.”

That’s what happened with baseball’s New York Giants, whose 1951 season culminated in a pennant-winning homer known as the “Shot Heard ’Round the World.” Only in 1962 did rumors surface that manager Leo Durocher had stolen signals, and only in 2001 did an investigative reporter prove it.

“It’s been brought up before, and I’ve always been glad where it quieted down,” said 1951 Giants player Bobby Thomson after the evidence was revealed. “But you know, that’s foolish. …Getting it all out is the best thing.”

Now we’ve got Bill Belichick. The New England Patriots’ head coach was punished for one case of stealing signals and apparently admitted privately that he did it all the way back to 2000—tainting three narrow Super Bowl wins. Belichick denies this.

Fine, says the reporter. New evidence will come forward. Just wait. Truth will out.

Lesson: If you’re serious about your good name, your legacy and those who will follow you—your employees, friends, children—understand that cheating never holds up in the long run.

—Adapted from “Cheats Heard ’Round the World,” Joshua Prager, The Washington Post.

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