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Hypocrisy and the Golden Rule

Merriam-Webster defines hypocrisy as, “behavior that contradicts what one claims to believe or feel.”

Turn on any cable news channel on just about any day and you’ll see endless examples of hypocrisy in our nation’s political theater.  Both sides of the aisle have historically purported to believe and stand for the basic principle in our justice system of “innocent until proven guilty.”  Yet, when someone in the other party is suspected of doing something wrong, there are leaps to judgement, rants for resignations, and holier than thou rhetoric.

And from those in the party, come rants for “innocent until proven guilty.”  Until the next politician is suspected … in the other party.  And the roles are reversed.  And those supposed beliefs of “innocent until proven guilty” turn to leaps to judgement, resignation rants, etc.  And vice versa.  The behavior contradicts what one claims to believe.

Deftly moving from politics to another hot potato for dinner conversation, i.e. religion, I hearken to a belief that permeates many faiths and many agnostics, i.e. the Golden Rule.  The concept of treating others in the manner you wish to be treated was termed the “Declaration Toward a Global Ethic” in 1993 by 143 prominent leaders of almost all of the major religions in our world including, but not limited to, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam and Judaism.

So, what place do political hypocrisy and religious principles have in a Kenway Consulting newsletter?  I write about these because of concerns I have for the state of interpersonal and business relationships.  Does the Golden Rule apply in business?  Have we abandoned our belief in the Golden Rule?  And, if not, how often are we hypocrites when we ignore it?

When a large company collects payments from its clients in ADVANCE of rendering a service, but does not/will not pay smaller companies until 30, 60 or 90 days AFTER receiving a service, have they employed the Golden Rule?  Are they, or are they not, hypocrites?

When a company fires an underperforming employee because they failed a drug test, but chooses not to fire an outstanding employee for failing the same drug test …

When a company provides a discounted bill rate for a service to one company, but won’t provide the same discount for the same exact service to another company …

When a company that doesn’t like buying things it doesn’t need, tries to sell to another company something it doesn’t need …

When a company purports to motivate its employees to be ethical, conscientious and principled, measures its employees on outcomes rather than means …

At Kenway, we are far from perfect.  We certainly have not done, and don’t do everything right.  But we try.

We pay our vendors and employees BEFORE we get paid by our clients.  We measure the means performed, and not the outcomes achieved.  In 15 years, we have never negotiated a bill rate, not because of a fear of negotiating, but because we provide the lowest bill rate we can when we submit our bids.

We treat other companies the way we want to be treated.  Is that too much to ask?

bk

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