In logging hours as a Behavioral Analyst, the ability to understand reactions and decisions made in the day-to-day becomes more and more interesting. Reading great books, has also been a great asset. Simon Sinek’s most recent book, “Leaders Eat Last” truly has a view on the “ideal” environment, and in speaking with hundreds of business owners, Sinek’s vision is gathering more clarity in the IT Channel. There is one perspective of a workplace that is commonly overlooked or never talked about in Executive Meetings. That perspective, is one of Dishonesty.

You see, dishonesty has quite an allure. Don’t believe me? Keep reading.

Picture this: It’s 11:35am, and you have a 12:00 Noon lunch meeting with your best client. The drive takes 20 minutes with little to no traffic. To add one more detail, your gas tank is on empty. The client is never tardy and you know they dislike it when you show up late. What do you do?

Make your decision:

1.  Get gas, call the client, and let them know you’re running late but will be there to meet them at the restaurant.

2.  Leave now, get gas and get there late without contacting the client. Make up an excuse when you get there, and deal with the fallout.

3.  Get gas, call the client while on the way there, and suggest a closer location to where you both can meet.

Now, some of you may say- ‘that’s not enough information’. Really? You’ve been in situations, where you haven’t had this much information, and still you made it work.

Those who are honest with their dealings, fair and open about their success and failures- will pick option #1. Those who justify their reasoning, and always find a way to rationalize their behaviors will pick option #2. Possibly the worst decision, option #3 is taken by those who never realize that the world doesn’t revolve around them and now they’re impacting the days of others with their inability to choose the best tactic.

Dishonesty is so alluring, because it’s easy. When faced with a decision, like the aforementioned- a human being takes the occasion to literally weigh out the consequences. “I need to get to the meeting, and I can afford to pay a speeding ticket.” Or “It is better to tell the client the truth, or tell them I was taking care of something family related, because they’ll relate to that…?”

It’s all about consequences. Without respect for consequences, people find themselves in a position of dishonesty. Lies become easier to tell, and ironically harder to remember. Explanations become more grandiose, and before you know it- you have become a person, rooted in dishonesty. No consequence can befall you, since you can always land on your feet.

How do you avoid this pitfall? Align with a coach. A person who will be boldly honest with you and keep you grounded. Maintain a sense of humility, and own mistakes. Do not displace them. Openly discuss in Executive Meetings, culture based values and ensure it’s being implemented from the top, down.

Remember, in the workplace- someone is watching you. Make sure the value you represent, is one you would show to your spouse, your kids or your religious leader. Nathanial Hawthorne said it best, “No man, for any considerable period, can wear one face to himself and another to the multitude, without finally getting bewildered as to which may be the true.”

Until next time,