An Ethical Dilemma – What Would You Do?
The story below is true. Some key facts have been altered to protect all parties involved.
What would you do?
We all encounter times in our business life when we have to make a decision about what’s most important to us, making money from a good customer or adhering to our beliefs and honoring a commitment made.
I’m going to describe a situation and I’m going to ask you what you would do if you were in the same situation. Please share your comments or feel free to respond to this blog.
Imagine for a moment that you have a customer that’s paying you a lot of money (high five-figures) to conduct training. Let’s further assume the customer is large financial planning firm and they’re paying you to train all of their financial planners. The training topic is leadership.
Prior to the sale, there was no discussion about where you put your money or who would manage your money in the event you were to receive a large sum of money. Six-months into the engagement the company finds out that you’re looking for financial planner because you have a large amount of money to invest. You don’t select someone from their company. You also did not try to hide this from the firm.
They are upset because you did not invest with them. In fact, you committed to a long time friend that when this happened they could invest the money on your behalf. Your customer feels like there should be a quid pro quo: we pay you, you invest with us.
Here is the question. Do you break your commitment to your friend and invest with the firm that is your client and paying you a lot of money or do you honor your commitment to your fiend knowing you could lose the account?
Assuming this is all the information you have, what do you do and how do you make that decision?
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