The Brotherhood of the Second Cross was established on Father’s Day 2005 where 160 men stood before their wives and children to pledge themselves to purity, self-sacrifice, loyalty, and excellence. Today, hundreds more have joined the commitment.
How do you work for someone who is untrustworthy?
That’s a hard question, one that I’m not sure I am qualified to answer. You see, throughout my working life I have been fortunate to work for good people. Sure, back in my banking days there were some real characters a step up the organizational chart, but I was a low level employee so I didn’t really know too many “behind-the-scenes” stories. Generally, even those that might have been jerks still seemed to be focused on what was best for the company.
But a close friend has been needing my advice for how to handle working with, well, a crook. Questionable actions and emotional volatility have left low morale in his wake. What do you do? Quitting seems like the easiest answer, but that raises a lot more questions like, “How will I eat?” etc.
When you are pursuing integrity, how do you follow one who isn’t? While my experiences can’t measure up to my friends, I did find myself in a complicated situation years ago. My boss frequently deal with people in an unfair way, acted selfishly toward other leaders, and was extremely difficult to work with. I even had an email saved on my computer, outlining many of his actions, should I ever run out of options and need to send it to the CEO.
My first piece of advice…always act with integrity. I can be forced to do things I don’t want to do, like fire someone I think should be given another chance or cave in to a demanding customer when I want to hold the line. But I can’t be forced to do wrong. When the boss demands that I violate the line of right vs. wrong, I must stand firm.
Now, keep in mind the difference between my opinion and what is truly wrong. Just because I have a different idea doesn’t make me right. But cheating, lying, and other types of sin are wrong every time. That’s where I won’t be forced to walk. At the end of the day, I would rather throw myself on the mercy of my company while standing on the side of right.
Second…don’t be disrespectful. Even when the boss doesn’t deserve respect, it’s important for my heart that I show it anyway. The chair he occupies demands a level of respect that it is unhealthy to ignore. I know that most of us want to respond with a “Yeah, but…” to that. But disrespecting authority is unhealthy for me even if I think it’s justified.
Finally, treat the boss the way you wish he’d treat you. Yeah, the old Golden Rule applies. If I fight fire with fire, well, that’s a lot of fire and I will likely get burned. But if I act with integrity and respond to my boss in ways that he doesn’t deserve, I open the door to the possibility that our future can be different.
Bottom-line. I can’t change the boss, but I get to decide whether or not I let the boss change me.