Do the Right Thing When No One is Watching

When I was an undergraduate at the University of Virginia, we took the concept of honor pretty seriously. Later, as a professor at the US Air Force Academy, we also thought honor was pretty important, and discussed the concept a lot with cadets before they went off to be Air Force lieutenants. One of the […]

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Show Some Respect

A former colleague who has been at a large international organization got some bad news earlier this summer. For 2 years he worked with this group on a contract basis in a part-time status, which is their normal “probationary” style of bringing on new employees. Throughout this fiscal year he was told he would be […]

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How Many Chances to Cheat?

I took my undergraduate degree at the University of Virginia, where we took the concept of honor, and the Honor System, very seriously. UVA is highly regarded for its strict (and completely student-run) honor system, with one sanction for students found guilty of an honor violation: expulsion. The idea behind that was simple. When a […]

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What an Individual Sport Teaches Us About Collaboration

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Rightly or wrongly, Singapore has a reputation as a very kiasu society, where “fear of losing out” dominates daily interactions. So it was great to see an example there last weekend of how to be exactly the opposite; the odd thing was, it came from a sport typically viewed as an individual, rather than team-based, […]

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Lose the Gossip

Gossip does not do anybody any good, and it does plenty of bad, in your workplace. Careers get damaged, teams get wrecked, and people’s attention gets diverted from their work. For employees who really need to be thinking about what they are doing, gossip gets pretty distracting. You may think it’s fun to go to […]

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Presume Integrity

This week I spoke with a 20-something employee in Singapore who was looking to move to a new position in his organization. He had submitted his CV and been interviewed, and got an offer. There were a few things to arrange, including his departure from one department and their contract while moving to the new […]

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Playing it Straight

One game that people play in the workplace is called β€œI Have a Secret,” in which they know something is going on, they let other people know that they know, but they never say what β€œit” is. It is a power game played by weak-minded people who cannot get ahead on the strength of their […]

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