Welcome to #5 in a twelve part series featuring the key ingredients of our secret sauce – our Values in Action. We’ll not only tell you what they are, but we’ll show you how to apply them. In this issue, you’ll learn from a real-life story that it’s never too late to do the right thing.
Core Value: Pursue Uncompromised Integrity
Value In Action: Do The Right Thing…Every Time
We are committed to doing the right thing every time with our Core Values and Values in Action as our guide. When we fall short and do the wrong thing, we make it right.
Bob knew it was the wrong thing to do. But, he wasn’t willing to pay the price for doing the right thing. Besides, he gave the customer exactly what he asked for –a fair market value lease extension, just like he’d done many times before. This time, however, he noticed a purchase option within the original lease granting them the right to buy the equipment for $250,000 less than the cost of the lease extension.
It was easy to rationalize not telling his customer about their purchase option. After all, they leased all of their computer equipment, not wanting to carry such assets on their books. And of course, when he told his colleagues about his dilemma, they were quick to add fuel to his fire of rationalization. “Are you crazy? Of course you’re not going to tell them”, they said. So, he went back to calculating his commissions and never said a word…until 15 years later.
The guilt had become unbearable. Rarely did a day go by without being reminded of his transgression. He knew what he had to do, but the thought of doing it made his knees weak. His former customer was now the CFO of a Fortune 100 company…a very rich and powerful man. What if he demanded restitution…with interest? He picked up the phone with trembling hands and made the call. “Hello Andy, it’s been a long time…”
Andy was far more gracious than Bob deserved, readily forgiving him. He dismissed Bob’s actions as “business as usual” for the fast-paced times they were in. As the weight he’d carried for 15 years was lifted from Bob’s weary shoulders, he lost control of his emotions. At that point, Andy became far more concerned with consoling Bob than with meting out any form of punishment. Mercy found Bob that day.
Alas, Bob did the right thing. And, it turned out better that he could have hoped or imagined. But, no matter the outcome or consequences, the right thing would still be just that –the right thing…every time. Just do it.