When leaders only talk about the importance of meeting financial targets, employees eventually believe that they must achieve those targets by any means necessary.
It does not matter if the leaders meant that the targets should be met the right way. If their intent is not matched by action, a different message is heard.
And so employees engage in wrongdoing and are separated from the company. During the exit interview, they plead for their job saying “But I did this for the good of the company! I thought that’s what you wanted me to do!”
And then we’ll ask: “You thought breaking the law was for the good of the company?”
Frantic stares. Confusion. Inability to utter a single word.
And shame on the leaders.