It Will Never be Wrong to Do What's RightJan 30, 2024
It’s not always easy to do the right thing, but it is necessary. Not only will this earn you respect, it will also put you on a path for personal success. I recently attended a leadership forum where a panel of guest speakers talked about how they got to where they are today, and one thing that was said stood out to me in particular. One of the panelists said, “Do what’s right because it’s right. It doesn’t matter who’s looking. It’ll never be wrong.”
Think about each piece of that statement. You don’t need any other reason to do the right thing other than it is the right thing to do. Once you let go of the need for an external motivator, it becomes much easier to naturally take actions that are consistent with what is right morally, ethically, or legally. The second piece is that it does not matter who’s looking. We shouldn’t just do the right thing when someone else is watching us. When we internalize proactive behaviors, they become a part of our identity, allowing us to align our actions with our beliefs. We act because we should, not because someone else wants us to. The last part of his statement is that it will never be wrong. It may be a difficult thing to do, but doing the right thing will always be in your best interest in the long run.
There are many instances of companies and individuals blurring the lines. They push the limits ever so slightly at first for the sake of personal gain, efficiency, or profitability. They don’t always recognize that what they are doing is wrong, but they don’t necessarily think it’s right either. They just know that it’s working for them in the short run. However, the more a person blurs the lines, the more likely they are to continue down that path until there is no longer a line left to blur. Once something is done, it cannot be undone. You don’t want to put yourself in a position that you cannot recover from. Doing what’s right may upset the people that are pressuring you to conform, but it can save both you and them from the negative repercussions.
If you are given an ultimatum between doing something that is not right or giving up your position at the company, I hope you would take the time to consider whether that’s a company that you really want to dedicate yourself to anyway. The company may have not been caught yet, but they almost always get caught for doing something shady. You should be proud of the work that you do. You should never have to hide the truth from anyone.
The next time you find yourself in a compromising situation, I want you to take a step back and consider a few things. First, aside from what anyone else is saying, what is the right thing to do? Second, would your younger self approve of what you are considering doing or not doing? And third, which side of the line do you want to be on if and when someone were to find out about what’s going on? Once you know the answers to these questions, everything else will come easy. Do what is right because it’s right. After all, it will never be wrong.
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