Once again, my wife is out of town for a few days. This often means that I now have to work on keeping myself under control as far as what I eat. Lucky for me, I have learned how to eat better as it pertains to my weight. Unfortunately, I still have those cravings for sweets and other carbohydrates that makes my life a bit more difficult at times.

amourindustriel
Naim Khelifa via Compfight

The strange paradox here is that no matter what I do, I’m the only one it’s going to affect, and thus I need to only worry about myself and my well being. For the most part it’s true. If I don’t want to feel bad, if I want to continue on my weight loss trail, if I want to try to keep my diabetes in check, it all affects me and thus I should be better at it. Consequently, if I get into a “I don’t care” mode and decide to go off the wagon, so to speak, it only affects me.

Turns out that’s not quite true. If my health suffers then taking care of me falls onto my wife. My mother would be distressed. The health care system might have to deal with me if I got to the point where I couldn’t take care of myself and my wife was unable to help out. In other words, at some point it would involve a lot of people other than myself unless I just fell out and passed away, and I’m not looking for that to happen until I’m at least 200 (gotta aim high, right?).

Let’s move this into the business world. We all know someone, whether it’s at our own company or another company, that did something that caused them to lose their job because of how it did or might have impacted the company. Even if it was only bad publicity, companies will err on the side of caution and immediately take action. They’ll be even more eager to do it if the employee has been a problem for them.

Last week is an interesting example of this. A guy was fired from Bank of America because it was discovered that he’d secretly given inside information on Facebook’s then upcoming entry into the stock market. He thought he could keep it secret, but his problem was that his emails were monitored and the people he told worked at TechCrunch, a technology reporting company that has written a lot of articles about Facebook. When asked if they could share the information in any way he said no because he could lose his job. He did lose his job and the bank had to pay a $7 million fine.

That would be bad enough. But they fired the guy he reported to because of two things. One, they said he wasn’t keeping a close enough eye on the people who reported to him and should have discovered that this happened much earlier. Two, he actually talked to a reporter about something, though he didn’t fully give details, then lied to his employers when they told him he shouldn’t talk to the press on this particular topic. He’s already talked to them, but said he hadn’t and wouldn’t.

So, in those two instances, a regular employee and what turns out to be a well respected upper manager both lost their jobs because of how their actions affected the company. Things like this happen all the time, in worse situations, and yet managers never seem to look at the failures that occurred in other companies, see themselves in that space, and change their behavior. It’s how the line “People who don’t learn history are doomed to repeat it” becomes such a powerful statement.

If you’re an employee doing something you know you probably shouldn’t be doing, no matter at what level, you need to seriously think about ending that behavior. And if you’re the top dog, or even an independent, you need to look at your behavior and actions and determine if you need to change as well.
 

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