A Lie is A Lie in Business Ethics or in Life – Friday’s Editorial

The recent trial of the former Illinois governor Blagojevich to the indictment of baseball great Roger Clemens continue to demonstrate a lie is still a lie and there is a lot of lying going on in business ethics, congressional ethics as well as in life.  Of course, the irony here is that many others lie every day especially at the U.S. Federal level including Congress and the Presidency and get away with it. They face no jail time such as Martha Stewart did or other private citizens. Of course once in a while, one will be actually jailed for his or her lies especially if the follow the money could be documented, but these cases appear few and far between.

As long people continue to elect and support individuals who lie even if it has not been determined to be a felony, the American public and more importantly the American economy will continue to suffer.  What appears to have happened in somewhere during the last 50 years, the talent intelligence of common sense has left the building just like Elvis.

I am reminded of an old expression my father used with me.  If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck and walks like a duck, it is probably a duck.

The majority of business people and people in general I believe are honest. Some do have higher levels of honesty than others who have taken to unethical behaviors such as plagiarizing the works of others. Yet with all the lies in Congress and the ability to get away with it does appear to becoming far more prevalent than in years gone by and even more unfortunately expected.

When we hear even honest people speak, we are being conditioned to think they are lying. Again, the talent intelligence of using common sense is not being actively practiced. The only negative aspect of all of this lying is not willing to confront those who are engaged in this deceitful behavior because that suggests being judgmental.

Maybe this is the desired result of all those who practice “selective judgmentism”  By refraining from being judgmental, we no longer feel comfortable calling a liar a lair. Instead we need to think carefully and intently about what we may have just seen or heard and believe another possible explanation.  “Selective judgemtism” is practiced proficient liars as an offensive strategy.

So what are your thoughts about  lies, damn lies and business ethics?

P.S. Here is an article to determine if your boss is lying.

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7 Responses to “A Lie is A Lie in Business Ethics or in Life – Friday’s Editorial”

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  • Shelley:

    You’re right, A lie is a lie. I have tried to hold myself to the higher standards of business ethics. But, I can tell you that calling the liar a liar is not always the thing to do. Many times in the working atomsphere the liar will lie to the wrong person and will reap all that they have spouted. It’s called Karma.

    If you know your business, good, and observant at what you do than you will know what is true and not true.
    The general laborer is pretty smart and people can look around and see; when lay offs begin, or fired and quit employees are not replaced, when the building fails to be maintained like ususal, when back log drops, etc. that if management is saying things are fantastic but sales or profits are down something is not right. But yet, it could be fantastic compared to immediately shutting the doors.?????

    As a middle management I use 3rd person “the company,” “the owner,” instead of I frequently. I do this mainly when I do not agree with the owners decision on a policy or procedure. For instance, when I was asked why we changed how many breaks we were giving out per shift I explained. “Because of type of work that is being done and because you can leave and get a drink and use the restroom at anytime you need to during your shift “the company” does not feel that you need a 15 minute break every 2 hours.” That doesn’t make me a liar, I just don’t agree plus it was not my decision. Also, as a manager I don’t speak for me I speak for the entire company, therefore, seldom do I use the word, “I.”

    Lying can be something a prosecutable offense, however, mainly it is a moral offense. Until we start having better moral values and teaching moral to our children again our future leaders will more than likely be worst liars than the generation before them. Or would that make them better liars?

  • Shelly – Thanks for sharing your experience. And your last observation about making worst liars or better ones speaks to where morals and business ethics appear to be heading.

  • [...] Friday’s editorial discussed lies and business ethics. As long as those in management be them government officials or for profit management executives [...]

  • I gotta give you some thanks for making this blog post, it got me thinking on really being honest in EVERY SINGLE THING I do else it can come returning to bite you (from my own experience). Nice read, will be back to take a look at even more.

  • Kendra So appreciate the feedback. When someone shares that a particular post give them something to think about, then I am truly indeed happy.

    Looking forward to future comments.

    Leanne Hoagland-Smith

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