Should we have done that?

November 25, 2008 at 11:22 pm | Posted in Professional Development | 4 Comments

A colleague and I were discussing some of the challenges we now face because we chose to take the high road on some things.  Turns out that in the end, it’s created way more work and headache for us than had we just done the “wrong” thing from the start.  He was feeling a little bummed about it.

I reminded him that we never — ever — should feel bummed about trying to do the right thing.  It’s often hard, and Lord knows I’ve got my moments of weakness.  But one thing we should never regret is doing things the right way.

There was a sign that hung in our locker room in college that said, “Character is determined by what you do when nobody is watching.”  That’s true.  In an imploding economy full of those getting away with absolute criminal behavior, it’s tough to remember that.  In the end, money comes and goes but character seems to stick around a long time and it’s a lot harder to make it back once you’ve lost it.



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  1. Yeah, doing the right thing is usually difficult at that moment but as time goes by, having done the right thing are what is remembered, what builds reputation and what builds distinction. Half hearted/assed efforts may get you to your short term goal quicker but short term goals seldom matter over the long term. The difficult thing to mange is often the external pressures are by nature pushing for the quickest/cheapest/smallest which often, but not always, allows for only a subset of “right”.

  2. Oh, I was going to mention. I got stuck at LAX and ended up in a bar watching college American football for 6 hours. Still for the life of me can’t figure it out though 🙂

    Have happy thanksgiving.

  3. When it gets tough you never ever regret doing the right thing to start off with. Long term it makes things infinitely easier.

    I had a very tough patch in the middle of the year and it was far easier than it might’ve been because I made the hard decision to do the right thing at the start.

  4. Great post as we head into next year where lessons from 08 will be applied to 09. Thanks Billy.

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