Every now and then we’re faced with a deal that will literally change our lives. The money and benefits will alter the direction of our careers, social lives, and circle of friends. But,…and you knew that was coming. But, the cost (and there’s always a cost) is that you have to be ‘flexible’ on what you believe, your values, your morals, or your personal standards.
Is it worth it?
Should you do it?
Is doing the deal worth your soul?
“But Mark, what if the deal will retire you and set you and your family up for generations?”
Is the future financial security of your family worth you being ‘flexible’ on your values? This is an excellent question and I’d be lying to you if I told you that I hadn’t considered deals like this in the past. We’ve all had our fair share of encounters like this, I’m sure. I think when we’re faced with these kind of deals it’s natural for us to struggle with an answer and struggle with which way we’re going to go on the decision. Ultimately, I think it comes down to what you value more. Do you value money more than self-respect and self-worth? Because ultimately that’s what we’re talking about. Values and morals are so personal that no one can truly know how you feel about something (except you). So are you willing to bend/break your strongly held beliefs for economic gain?
My argument is that you shouldn’t.
DON’T DO IT!!!
All the money in the world cannot make up for the shame that you will experience in sacrificing your beliefs or your values. There may even be a case where no one even will ever know that you’ve forsaken your values in favour of money and you’ll negotiate with yourself to take the money. But you will know. And, unfortunately, if you do it, you’ll have to live with the knowledge (for the rest of your life) that you took the money and sacrificed your soul when you shouldn’t have.
All you have are your beliefs, your morals, your standards, your values. You can’t take money with you when you “go”. So ultimately you have a choice. You can be remembered as a rich guy or gal. Or you can be remembered as a person who didn’t budge on their values. Now, I’m not saying you should do this for recognition, because that sorta defeats the purpose of it. But I am saying that you should not, under any circumstances, let your values be swayed by money.
So what do you do when you’re faced with this choice?
- RUN! I’m not kidding. Literally run in the opposite direction of the person offering it to you. Get away from the temptation. Because the longer you noodle something like that, the more likely it will be that you do the deal.
- CALL IT OUT! People need to know that the deal conflicts with your values. So, call it out. Say, “While I appreciate your generous offer, unfortunately I cannot accept, because…..” People need to know that you’re not willing to sacrifice your reputation and your personal values for money.
- SPIN. Spin it. If you get offered a deal that calls into question your ethics or your values, spin it and ask for empathy. Often times the person offering the deal may not have even considered the ethical implications of what they are offering. Build their empathy. Say something like, “Consider if you were in my shoes. I hold the following values in high regards…., and when being presented with this offer, it causes me to question whether those values will be compromised because it puts me in a situation of….. Please understand that in no one do I wish to offend you. It’s truly a generous offer, but I must decline.”
You will have to face this choice one day (if you haven’t already). And, whether you believe it or not, the fact is that what you choose will define your thought process, your self-worth, and your reputation for the rest of your life. Choose wisely.