Editor’s Note: This article was reprinted with permission from the author, Captain George Burk, USAF (Ret), Plane crash, burn survivor, motivational speaker, author, writer. Visit his website at www.georgeburk.com or contact Captain Burk at email@example.com.
Many times it’s simple to do the ethical (right) thing on your own. But what about when your boss tells you do something you instinctively and intuitively know is wrong (unethical)?
Simply stated, it’s a question of “Can I be true to myself and my character” said Elizabeth Doty, founder and president of WorkLore, a San Francisco-based consulting firm.
“Self-praise is for losers. Be a winner. Stand for something. Always have class, and be humble.”
John Madden, football coach
Doty surveyed people about how they handle the tension between their core values and their work persona. Doty calls this, “winning the devil’s bargain.” The tension (conflict) between succeeding at work and doing the right (proper) thing can be difficult. Then again, maybe it doesn’t need to be if you know and follow your core beliefs and always take the right course of action. Whether you agree or not, like it or not, your character and integrity is always being tested. In the final analysis, it’s never about money. It is about character, integrity, self-respect and being able to live with yourself.
“If money is your hope for independence, you will never have it. The only real security that a man will have in this world is a reserve of knowledge, experience and ability.”
Henry Ford, industrialist
“Most people are so uncomfortable in those situations, they just push it out of their awareness,” she said.
When people take the initiative and confront the issue and know it’s the right thing to do, it improves their productivity. “You begin to feel more alive, creative and resourceful when you feel good inside,” Doty said.
“The world is more malleable than you think and it’s waiting for you to hammer it into shape.”
So, if or when you’re asked to do something you know is unethical or worse, here are a few suggestions:
Don’t play the game. Do what Doty calls “play the bigger game.” Learn to always place your principles first and have the strength of character to say “no” when asked to compromise them. “It’s not lowering your aspirations. It’s daring to be absolutely honest about the current realities,” she said. The goal’s to create conditions where (more of) the truth is part of the decision-making.
“Most people treat the present moment as if it were an obstacle that they need to overcome. Since the present moment is life itself, it is an insane way to live.”
Eckhart Tolle, writer
Turn the tables. One example Doty used is of the woman who once worked for a telephone company. The woman’s boss asked her to fake documents that would show that customers had asked to switch their phone service. The woman told her boss that she knew he really didn’t want this to happen. Hearing that, the boss then knew he had to do the right thing. “You can bring it back to the long term impact rather than the short term gain,” Doty said.
Beware of “good” organizations. These are the companies and organizations that seem to do the right thing but don’t always do it. Doty interviewed one person who joined a financial service firm because it seemed especially ethical. Soon after she was hired, several senior officers were convicted of embezzlement. When this happens, people who work for that kind of organization often become even more disillusioned and their level of trust is lowered significantly.
Remember the big picture. When you compromise your values, it doesn’t just affect you, it also hurts the organization. What may begin as a small indiscretion can soon grow into something larger and have even more effect on your personal and professional character. When that happens, it can destroy an organization.
“If we could sell our experiences for what they cost us, we’d all be millionaires.”
Abigail Van Buren, advice columnist
Trust your instincts. It’s impossible to know if every situation is the right one. But your gut, your intuition and instinct can give you a hint. When you have a queasy feeling in the pit of your stomach or a question in your mind, that’s a powerful message! Act on it! “When an organization or its employees are running too fast or operating from a culture of fear, that’s when these unethical things happen,” Doty said. Don’t always look to the “external” for answers. Look to your “internals.” Tap into you experiences, instinct and intuition. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
“Wherever smart people work, doors are unlocked.”
Steve Wozniak, Apple co-founder
Australian risk management expert and TapRooT® Instructor, Jim Whiting, (member of the committee that wrote the international risk management standard ISO 31000 and now the USA Standard ANSI Z690 and CAN/CSA/ISO 31000 ), has enhanced the Risk Management Best Practices course for 2015. He is offering this exclusive course three times in 2015 – don’t miss out!
Jim brings his risk management and root cause analysis experience and best practices from around the world (Australia/New Zealand, North America, Asia, Africa, and Europe) to this course.
If you are interested in improving the efficiency of your improvement efforts by getting the most out of your use of risk management and root cause analysis techniques, join us for this course.
Get the Course Outline: http://www.taproot.com/taproot-summit/pre-summit-courses#RiskManagementBestPractices
Email Jim at firstname.lastname@example.org for testimonials & more information.
Upcoming TapRooT® Public Courses:
For more information regarding our public courses around the world, click here.
Monday Accident & Lessons Learned: Fatal accident involving a track worker near Newark North Gate station 22 January 2014Posted: March 2nd, 2015 in Accidents, Current Events, Investigations
Summary from the UK Rail Accident Investigation Branch …
At around 11:34 hrs on 22 January 2014, a track worker was struck by a passenger train as it approached Newark North Gate station. He was part of a team of three carrying out ultrasonic inspection of two sets of points at Newark South Junction and was acting in the role of lookout. The accident happened around 70 metres south of the platforms at the station.
A few minutes before the accident, the lookout and two colleagues arrived at the yard adjacent to the tracks in a van. One colleague was in charge of carrying out the inspections and the other, the ‘controller of site safety’ (COSS), was in overall charge of the safety of the team. They had planned to carry out the inspections on lines that were still open to traffic in accordance with a pre-planned safe system of work. All three had many years of relevant experience in their respective roles and were familiar with the work site.
Upon arrival at the yard, the lookout and tester proceeded to the track to start the inspection work; the COSS remained in the van. Shortly after they had started the inspection, the 10:08 hrs London to Newark North Gate passenger service approached. It was due to stop in platform 3, which required it to negotiate two sets of crossovers. The train blew a warning horn and the two staff on site acknowledged the warning and moved to the nominated place of safety. However, just before the train moved onto the first crossover, the lookout turned to face away from the train, walked towards the station and then out of the position of safety. He moved to a position close to where he had been before the train approached, most probably to check for trains approaching in the opposite direction, having decided that the approaching train was proceeding straight into platform 1. Although the train braked and blew a second warning horn, the lookout did not turn to face the train until it was too late for him to take evasive action.
As a consequence of this accident, RAIB has made two recommendations and identified a learning point. The recommendations are addressed to Network Rail and relate to:
- improving work site safety discipline and vigilance, especially for teams doing routine work with which they are familiar; and
- improving the implementation of Network Rail’s procedures for planning safe systems of work so that the method of working that is chosen minimises the risk to track workers so far as is reasonably practicable, as intended by the procedure.
The learning point relates to improving the implementation of Network Rail’s competence assurance process by providing training and sufficient working time to enable front line managers to implement the associated procedures as intended by Network Rail.
150216_R012015_Newark_North_Gate.pdf (5,166.00 kb)
Join TapRooT® in Charleston, South Carolina for a 2-Day Incident Investigation and Root Cause Analysis Training Public Course on March 23-24. Charleston is one of the oldest and fastest growing cities in South Carolina. Its historical value brings it alive with monuments, architecture and art. It has also been honored with the award of “America’s Most Friendly City” by Travel and Leisure in 2011 and 2013. If you haven’t visited here, come take in the American heritage and some TapRooT® knowledge while you’re at it.
Circa 1886: Take a trip back in time with this historically inspired restaurant voted as the #12 best restaurant in the U.S. by Trip Advisor.
Charleston Grill: With Charleston being on the ocean, you have to try the best fresh seafood in town right here at the Charleston Grill.
Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams: This homemade ice cream is hard to come by with it only being sold in seven locations in the U.S. Try it out!
College of Charleston: Take a tour of the beautiful, historic College of Charleston campus.
Charleston Waterfront Park: Love the outdoors? Take a walk or rent a bike to stroll down this waterfront park and enjoy the view!
Walking Tours: Pick from a variety of walking tours that take you all over Charleston.
Ready to REGISTER NOW? Follow the link for information and registration details.
SAVE THE DATE for our Global TapRooT® Summit to be held June 1-5, 2015 in Las Vegas. Click here for information.
It’s a wrap everyone! We are going back to the office tomorrow to sift through volumes of information we’ve gathered to make this Summit the best experience ever for you. But we can’t do that if you aren’t here! So send in your registration and look forward to lots of upcoming news including info about our speakers, sessions, reception, places to eat and things to do after-hours!
LIVE from Las Vegas! An Exciting New Benefit of Booking at the Flamingo Las Vegas Hotel for the 2015 Global TapRooT® Summit!Posted: February 24th, 2015 in Summit
We’ve been busy today getting as much info as we can to share with you about the upcoming Global TapRooT® Summit, June 1 – 5, 2015. But as promised yesterday, I wanted to tell you about an exciting new feature right here at The Flamingo Las Vegas Hotel that was not here the last time we held our Summit here:
The LINQ Promenade
The Flamingo Hotel is one of only two hotels where you can walk right out the doors and right onto the LINQ Promenade. Formerly the “dead space” between the Flamingo and Imperial Palace, the LINQ has totally revitalized the area, offering everything you could want in a Las Vegas experience within steps from your Summit hotel! Dining, shopping, entertainment – it’s like one large block party with something for every personality. Check out The Flamingo Hotel’s perfect access to the LINQ in the video we shot this morning:
The main attraction is the 550 feet tall High Roller (the world’s LARGEST observation wheel). While many are drawn to the LINQ for that attraction, it’s all of the other amazing attractions that make them stay the entire night right on the LINQ Promenade.
The Kitson sells trendy clothes, pop culture books, souvenirs, and other novelty items. Check out the Polaroid Fotobar while you are there and print out pictures from your phone that look like old Polaroid photos, and then buy a shadowbox to display them in to remember your visit here.
Want to try an interesting adult beverage? The Purple Zebra has lots of fun, colorful cups to choose from and just as many colorful flavors. Think adult “Slurpee” — and bring your cup back for a discount on your next refreshment.
Like recreation that doesn’t necessarily involve slot machines and alcohol? Get a group together to play at Brooklyn Bowl, and then enjoy a dessert after at Ghirardelli or Sprinkles.
I’m writing this on the fly today but I’ll be revisiting the LINQ Promenade as we move toward the Summit because there is ALOT to share about this amazing venue.
DON’T FORGET to book in the TapRooT® Room Block at the Flamingo Las Vegas today!
Amber Bickerton and I are teaching the 5 day course this week in Calgary. Here are some pictures of the students working on their investigation interviewing exercise:
Why not join us for the next course? You can see our schedule and register HERE
For those in the Northeast who have had to deal with so much snow, shutting the office because of 3 inches might sound stupid. But in Knoxville, we aren’t used to snow and the hills make getting around hazardous (especially when so many people never learned to drive on snow and don’t even have all season tires).
So … SI will be closed today. Hopefully this won’t be like the ice storm last week (three days out with hazardous conditions).
This June, the 2015 Global TapRooT® Summit will be held in Las Vegas. As you can imagine in a city like Vegas, there’s all kinds of hype and pull for you to go to one show or another after hours. A “free” show in Vegas worth attending after a long day of work is the Bellagio fountains.
A short walk from the Summit host hotel, the Bellagio fountains features an 8.5-acre lake which explodes with 1,214 spritzers shotting water 460 feet in the air. The water is choreographed to music which sounds cheesy, but compared to a lot of things you may see around Vegas, this show is quite classy and relaxing to view.
Showtimes are every one-half hour, 3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., so you can easily take in a show after a busy day at the Summit. To learn more visit:
When you travel to the Summit, there are lots of places for you to explore. Here are a couple of other fun things we recently highlighted that you may consider for after-hours fun:
Exotic Racing: Ever dream about driving a Ferrari or Lamborghini? Well, now you can!
Million Dollar Quartet: A Tony® Award Winning musical!
And register for the 2015 Global TapRooT® Summit, June 1 – 5, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada: http://www.taproot.com/taproot-summit/register-for-summit
For more info visit the Summit website: http://www.taproot.com/taproot-summit
We were excited to talk to the folks at The Flamingo Las Vegas Hotel and find out so many people are already booking in the TapRooT® room block for the 2015 Global TapRooT® Summit.
Have you booked your room? Don’t wait too long and lose your chance!
My room is super comfy! Here is one photo with more info to come during our site visit this week.
Great View of Caesar’s Palace!
Did you know when you book a room in the TapRooT® block for just $129/night you are not only enjoying the convenience of having a room in the same hotel that the Summit and Pre-Summit are being held, but you are also centrally located on the Las Vegas Strip to enjoy lots of after-hours fun? (We are working on a post about a very EXCITING NEW FEATURE that was not here the last time we held our Summit here. You’re gonna LOVE it!)
Also, you get 50% off of Internet fees for three devices in our room block, and will not be charged resort fees that are a very common charge at most Las Vegas hotels. So if you think you might be getting a better deal elsewhere, be sure to ask the hotel what they add on for resort fees.
I don’t know about you, but I love the convenience of running up to my room to catch up on emails and make phone calls during breaks or freshen up for dinner. Not to mention, in Vegas, you want to maximize your morning sleep-in time, and don’t want to spend those precious minutes commuting to the conference hotel.
BOOK YOUR ROOM in the 2015 Global TapRooT® Summit room block today!
Our team has landed in Las Vegas with a big list to check off to make your trip to the Global TapRooT® Summit in June the best ever! So keep an eye on the blog as we report LIVE over the next couple of days.
We’ve been featuring awesome spots to visit after hours recommended by our TapRooT® Friends & Experts, like:
but what do the Las Vegas locals love? Well I’ve only been off the plane for an hour, and I’ve got a great tip for you from the first local I met:
Capo’s Speakeasy / Steakhouse
Do you love independently-owned restaurants? Capo’s mob-style restaurant has a cool speakeasy vibe and live nightly entertainment!
Nico Santucci grew up with his family’s Italian restaurants in Chicago, and brought the best of what he learned to Vegas!
Try Al Capone’s family secret sauces and their “made-man” pastas. And they are known as having the best meatballs on earth!
“Takes you back to the old country,” said our local source.
Learn the latest that’s happening at Capo’s on their blog: http://www.caposrestaurant.blogspot.com/
Monday Accident & Lessons Learned: How Much Root Cause Analysis Can You Buy for $5.6 Million Dollars?Posted: February 23rd, 2015 in Accidents, Current Events, Performance Improvement
Here are the headlines from The Bakersfield Californian:
“CPUC proposes $5.6 million fine against PG&E for 2012 demolition fatality in Bakersfield”
As reported by the papper, one of the findings of the PUC that led to the fine was:
“PG&E gave the CPUC an accident analysis prepared by Cleveland, as well as the utility’s own evaluation. But commission staff said both ‘failed to provide an adequate or comprehensive root cause analysis for the incident’ to help determine corrective actions.”
So here are some questions to consider:
- Do you require that your contractors perform adequate accident investigations?
- What root cause tools do your contractors use? Shouldn’t they be using TapRooT®?
- Are you waiting for fatalities to require better root cause analysis and incident investigation? Why don’t you have someone attend an 5-Day TapRooT® Advanced Root Cause Analysis Team Leader Course ASAP (this month?).
- Isn’t it time that you learned how to use root cause analysis proactively to stop fatalities before accidents happen? You should attend the Using TapRooT® Proactively Course.
How many lessons can your company learn from this accident?
Harry Thorburn delivered a 2-day TapRooT® course on February 14 and 15 on board a vessel in Rotterdam harbour.
Unknown to Harry, during the morning of the second day, the ship had to take to the sea to conduct trials in the harbour basin.
When the course finished, Harry realized he was a little bit away from dry land, (and the taxi he arranged to wait for him to take him back to Amsterdam Airport!)
The ship was unable to berth at dock again, but went in close enough for the ever versatile Harry to be hoisted in a cage by a crane and swung onto the quayside!
All in a day’s work … the course must be delivered.
(Story and images submitted by Mhorvan Sherret, Matrix Risk Control)