One of the most difficult decisions leaders and managers have to make is choosing principles (and values) over profits.
It’s rarely an easy choice nor is it black/white.
Lately, I’ve encountered several client situations where this choice had to be made over the past two weeks
1) The top salesperson didn’t feel like they had to follow the same rules as others. They were putting the company at risk with their actions. The challenge was the individual was bringing in a significant amount of revenue and had excellent relationships with clients. It came down to the company making a decision on money versus behavior.
2) Leader in the company treated a large team pretty poorly. But they were getting excellent KPIs and results. The leader didn’t want to change so the company was at a crossroads on what to do.
It may seem clear cut on what to do, but consider this. First, companies have duties to pay employees (who have families), serve their customers and other obligations. Second, principles are not always valued/shared unanimously. The definitions, understandings, and lines aren’t always clear.
But prioritizing profits can lead a company, executives, and managers to forget, push aside or change their principles. Those choices lead to negative and very expensive consequences.