When The Going Gets Tough, The Tough Get Chicken??

Do you think blowing your little whistle is going to gain you favor in the agency? The people slapping your back today–for being so honest and forthright–will be the same ones  who won’t  share another piece of information with you because they know now you like to talk!  

-Henry Wilcox (Covert Affairs)

Yes, it’s another Saturday night and here I am in fuzzy socks and a sweatshirt watching another show on Hulu.  But seriously, this quote got me to thinking about my summer internship at Progressive and current interest in organizational development/HR/work relationships.  When sitting in a seminar about ethical dilemmas, and basically being preached to about what you should do and what steps to take, (like church/a self-help class) it’s easy to walk away with a sense of “I know what is just and right and I my actions will reflect this”.  But honestly…after a while of not being challenged with a situation such as in Cover Affairs, [Jai chooses to testify against his father, Henry, who happens to be well respected and very powerful] you’re NOT brazen enough step up to the plate.  It happens.

So I guess my question is…When you have to decide between “snitching” on someone that you hold dear and speaking up (even when NOBODY knows ethics have been violated) what do you do? I’m not asking what is the right thing to do. We all have some moral compass.  But I’m asking you to consider the following: you may be passing on a chance for future promotions/opportunities, your relationships with people at work will change, you may not be trusted (even with little tidbits of peoples lives), you may receive bad feedback (or fired) by someone who wants revenge, and even worse the person who you have reported may receive a slap on the wrist/be found within compliance of company codes and may be in a position where they can make your life hell.

In situations like that…when it gets real, what do you do?  Are you willing to risk it (whatever “it” may be) for doing what’s right in your eyes.  Think about it.

Later in the episode, Jai is promoted to Officer of Special Projects (a job his father got him to prevent him from testifying against him). Henry says, “You say you have a…conscience. Yet all it take is a room with a view for you to chuck it away. I’d rather you stand on principle and feed me to the wolves than waiver so easily. At least I’d know the measure of you.”

Feel free to comment because I really think this is worth talking about. It’s so easy to back down. Especially when you realize this could jeopardize relationships, positions, etc. that you hold dear.

FYI: Besides being in a song by Billy Ocean, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going” , is a line from The Lion King. =)
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