As parents most people endeavor to teach kids to take responsibility. Whilst encouraging kids to be honest we also need to create an environment of learning from mistakes rather than leading to an “It wasn’t me attitude.” Kids are made to understand that every action has a consequence. However, as adults in organizations, the cause and effect situation has been forgotten by most people. Realization of ‘we get back what we give’ is restricted to a religious discussion and not observed in the commercial context.
Let’s see if you get the moral of the following story….
There was a farmer who used to sell butter to the baker regularly. One day the baker decided to weigh the butter to see if he was getting a pound and he found that he was not. This angered him and he took the farmer to court. The judge asked the farmer if he was using any measure. The farmer replied to the judge, “I am primitive, your honor, I don’t have a proper measure, but I do have a scale.” The judge asked, “Then how do you weigh the butter?” The farmer replied “Your Honor, long before the baker started buying butter from me, I have been buying a pound of bread from him. Every day when the baker brings the bread, I put it on the scale and give him the same weight in butter. If anyone is to be blamed, it is the baker.”
The baker was getting back based on what he was delivering!
I believe, honesty and dishonesty become a habit. Some people practice dishonesty and can lie with a straight face. Others lie so much that they don’t even know what the truth is anymore. Rarely do they realize that they are deceiving themselves. If kids are not made to understand cause and effect by enforcing punishment, they learn very fast, and won’t take rules seriously because they can convince you to go easy. Similarly, in the corporate world if there are no consequences for dishonesty, people cannot be held accountable.
Surprising to note that childish behaviors of crying for promotions, or blaming everything else for your suboptimal performance without understanding the rules of engagement is a common occurrence in the corporate world, thanks to leaders who like what is called ‘suck ups’ in slang.
Every person needs to learn to accept the consequences of his words, actions, and decisions, and the only way to do this is to create an environment of learning, consistency with rules and discipline.