How to Stay Out of Jail
I am amazed at the number of rich, famous and
successful people who seemingly forget that the rules the rest
of us live by also apply to them. I have a theory that, once
a person gets to a certain level of success and wealth, the
air becomes very thin up there and her ability to think clearly
is impaired. Although success and money may impair one's abilities
to think clearly, there are steps that can be taken to avoid
making the types of mistakes that create unpleasant results.
I am amazed once again at yet another CEO scandal.
I was reading an article about the soon-to-be-former CEO of
HP, Patricia Dunn. Dunn will step down from her position at
the beginning of 2007, "amid a widening scandal involving
a possibly illegal probe into media leaks" (Associated
Press, Sep. 12, 2006). It appears that Dunn thought it was okay
to obtain private telephone conversations using personal information
about members of the board of directors and others. The story
is still unfolding; however one thing seems clear, the air must
have been too thin for Dunn to think clearly.
It seems something happens to people when they
become rich and successful. I don't think being rich and successful
means you have to break the law or commit other immoral acts.
I believe there are ways to avoid these situations, which actually
are not limited to the rich and successful. The first line of
defense is to remain true to your values. Most people's values
don't include lying, stealing and wiretapping. If you keep in
mind what is most important to you, the chances that you will
be tempted to do something illegal or immoral are slim. If you
stay true to your values, the chance of getting into sticky
situations is more unlikely. I am not saying this is easy however
I believe that staying true to your values will make your life
much less complicated.
The second way to steer clear of trouble is to
avoid the worst enemy of humankind, the tendency to justify.
The minute one has to begin justifying his or her actions, the
red flags should fly. You don't have to justify what is right,
but when something is wrong there are a million ways to justify
the action. Even Dunn is justifying her actions. Dunn commented
that, "These leaks had the potential to affect not only
the stock price of HP but also that of other publicly traded
companies," (Associated Press, Sep. 12, 2006). Although
this may be very true, two wrongs do not make it right.
The third way to avoid getting into trouble is
simple but provides powerful protection. Have a best friend
or confidant who will tell you the truth and call you on what
you are about to do. I have made a pact with one of my best
friends that if he ever thinks I am doing something stupid that
will get me into loads of trouble, he is to immediately tell
me and do what he can to stop me. I believe that if we surround
ourselves with people who will tell us the truth, many mishaps
could be avoided. I personally would have loved to have had
five minutes with Martha Stewart just so I could have said,
"Martha, what are you thinking?" It appears many rich
and successful people surround themselves with "yes people"
and that isn't a good thing.
Let's review: the three ways to stay out of jail,
avoid embarrassing your family and ruining your reputation are
1. Remember your values and stick to them
2. Avoid justifying your actions
3. Have at least one close friend who will tell you the truth.
If you follow these rules you will forestall ever
seeing your name on the front page of the daily paper for doing
something less than stellar.
Coach Rachelle Disbennett-Lee, PhD provides daily motivation,
information and inspiration to thousands of busy self development
enthusiast who want to stay focused and on track to their goals
through her award winning e-zine 365 Days of Coaching. For a
free report, "The Power of Daily Action - How to create
more Wealth, Health and Happiness by Tapping Into the Power
of Daily Action" go to http://www.365daysofcoaching.com/daily_action.htm.
2006 True Direction, Inc.