Cheating for Pay = No Pay


A new study indicated that when employees are paid for performance, they are more likely to “fudge” on the number to enhance their pay.  That’s not a surprise.  Some teachers have been found to help their kids cheat on achievement test, students have cheated on exams, and journalists have made up stories. 

 So what’s an employer to do?  Some suggest not rewarding performance, but that defeats the whole purpose of driving for results.  I recommend a foundation of integrity AND pay for performance.  Make it absolutely clear that dishonesty is not tolerated and will result in loss of their job, but also make it clear that star performers are rewarded accordingly.  Then put a system in place that double checks the process and the numbers.

   Leadership is about setting high goals and ensuring that integrity is honored as goals  are achieved.                                                                    Cheating for pay should result in no pay.

Why You Need a Great Headshot


When people view your headshot, do they ask the question “Who is that?”

Three times in the last week, I’ve either opened up an email about someone who is speaking, or been at an event with a flyer, and the pictures on the publicity no longer resembled the person who was speaking.  In all three cases, the headshot was an old one – and when the person got up to speak, they had changed considerably.  One woman now wears glasses and has different color hair, one man has now gone gray, and another woman’s photo looked like it was 10 years earlier. When you are marketing yourself, your headshots should at least represent you as you are now.

 So why does this happen?  I’m guessing it’s three reasons:   1) We haven’t gotten an updated photo, so we use the one we have.                     2) Vanity creeps in and we’d rather have the picture that makes us look younger.      3) We’ve built an image around a photo and are hesitant to change that image.

 My advice – take the time to keep your publicity headshots and photos current.  If people see someone they don’t recognize from their picture speaking, it distracts from the message they are delivering.  When people view your headshot, they should say “Great photo!”

Everyone Cheats???

“Everyone cheats – this is a witch hunt about nothing.”  That’s the direct quote of a student from the University of Central Florida, where 200 students were discovered cheating on a business class exam.  Students, whose electronic cheating fingerprint was tracked, have been given the chance to confess and attend an ethics seminar or be expelled. 

Everyone cheats, is unfortunately, a frame of mind that pervades our society.  It becomes OK then to cheat on an exam, to lie on our tax form, or to cut corners in building a house.  But cheating can lead to serious consequences, including death.

  • Mark Hurd “cheated” on his financial records and lied to the board – and lost his job in a blaze of publicity.
  • Massey Energy “cheated” by bribing mine inspection officials, and 29 miners lost their lives.
  • BP “cheated” by shortcutting the process the oil well and 11 lives were lost.

That’s why it’s important not to cheat – to have integrity.  It will not only set you apart in your personal and professional life, it will serve the greater good.  It’s a lesson I hope 200 students at the University of Central Florida learn this week and never forget.

Power, Politics, and Character


Last week, about 6 days before the election, I was in our kitchen setting the table and listening to the evening news.  A commercial came on the air for Lincoln Davis, a Congressman running for re-election in our TV viewing area( although he doesn’t represent our area).  I was stopped in my tracks by the nasty, mean tone of the commercial which accused his opponent of some terrible things from 12 years ago.  Quite frankly, it took my breath away.  My first thought was that his opponent would have little time to respond.  My second thought was that I wouldn’t vote for a man who would stoop to such tactics – it lacked integrity.

Lincoln Davis lost the election by a large margin.  I believe his commercial was a demonstration of his character and cost him the election. He misused his power and played politics.  After his defeat, he was interviewed by the media and his response was telling.  He didn’t graciously accept defeat or respond with humility.  Instead he berated the voters for not knowing what they were losing as a result of the election. ”A man never shows his own character so plainly as by the way he describes another. – Jean Paul Richter 

In this election, a lack of integrity and character made a difference.  The challenge now is for the new Congressman to exhibit both.