I’ve been dealing with a situation at work that’s recently come to a head.
Our company is only 9 people large, and of those 9 people we’ve got two VPs and one President. Several months ago, the President and the female VP owned up to being in a relationship, which we long suspected was the reason for the breakup of his marriage.
As if that relationship being in our faces all day wasn’t enough to deal with, the male VP admitted this past week that he is having an affair with the contact of our biggest client. He claims his wife knows and is OK with it, but his two young children will never know.
I have just recently (literally, 5 days ago) gotten a raise I have worked very hard for, thus don’t want to leave my position, but this is all becoming too much for someone who believes very firmly in responsible moral ethics.
Any advice? Thanks so much.
Working for Unbridled Lust, Inc
OFFICE-POLITICS REPLY BY TIMOTHY JOHNSON
Dear Working for Unbridled Lust, Inc.
If your executive team is living out the corporate values, exactly what kind of company do you work for?
It sounds like you have some serious soul searching to do. You seem like somebody who has a strong moral compass, yet you’re in the midst of a bunch of lusty leaders. Your letter read like a plot from a really bad soap opera. Do you think that their values of deceit and lack of self-restraint are going to stop at the bedroom? Yes, you have a great paying job, and you’ve worked hard for it, but you need to ask yourself if it is worth it. It’s one thing to be break up a marriage with an interoffice romance. The level of bad judgment of getting involved with a key client is sending up red flags, sirens, flashing lights, and a police barricade.
I’ve worked for a company where the leadership values were questionable, and it was the worst feeling in the world. Every time I had a conversation with them, I wondered what they were lying about. I wondered what they weren’t telling me that I should know. I questioned why I should be forthright with them, whether they would be able to handle the truth if they heard it. When you see your executives behaving badly, you can’t help but ask what else they are doing. Granted, you have a great well-paying job now, but how long will that last if an executive is compromising the professional relationship with a chief client?
So, you have some choices:
1. You can confront the executives and tell them the message that their behavior is sending to the rest of the organization (I’m guessing you’re not the only one who feels this way).
2. You can quit and find a job where the management keeps their roll of quarters in the till
3. You can just keep plugging away and deal with it.
Whatever you do, listen to your heart and your instincts.
Thanks for writing to Office Politics, Inc.
Best of luck,
Timothy Johnson, Author
Timothy Johnson is the author of the newly released Gust: The “Tale” Wind of Office Politics (Lexicon, 2007) as well as Race Through The Forest – A Project Management Fable (Tiberius, 2006). As Chief Accomplishment Officer for his company, Carpe Factum, Inc. (Latin for “Seize The Accomplishment”), he also is a dynamic speaker, providing keynotes and workshops on the accomplishment-oriented topics of project management, creativity, process improvement, systems thinking, and (of course) office politics. His consulting clients have crossed multiple industries and have included Wells Fargo, Harley-Davidson, ING, Teva NeuroScience, and Principal Financial Group. In addition to writing, consulting, speaking, and coaching, he is also an adjunct instructor for Drake University’s MBA program in Des Moines Iowa, teaching classes in Project Management, Creativity for Business, and Managing Office Politics.