Can Your Boss Trust You?
Over the past five years, fellow bloggers have posted discussions debating the appropriateness of employers enforcing personal standards for off-duty employees. Last month, this issue was big news as General Petraeus resigned due to adultery. Ensuing conversations have been lively and thought-provoking.
Discussions of employers encroaching on employees' personal space typically fall into two categories. Some have to do with the way the public perceives the employee. Since client perception impacts a company's bottom line, employers often feel justified in making what some deem unfair terms of employment, especially with regard to appearance.
Other discussions, like those involving General Petraeus, center around compromising the integrity of the company, putting it at risk for unethical dealings and ultimately making it vulnerable for lawsuits -- or, in his case, a breach of national security. One of the more common statements I heard concerned the affair opening him up to blackmail. Few of us hold secrets that would put our nation in harm's way, but if you had an affair, could someone blackmail you into falsifying records or stealing money?
We teach our children that you must be trustworthy before you can be trusted with much. Likewise, if you'll lie in the little things, you'll lie in the big things. Your essence, made up of character traits like honesty and integrity, shows up consistently in all of your activities -- big and small. If you're willing to compromise your moral values in order to have a marital affair, can you be trusted to make ethical decisions on the job?
Everyone makes mistakes. To what degree do you believe your personal mistakes can impact your professional career?