“The true measure of a man is what he does when no one is looking”.- John Wooden, basketball coach UCLA
When I first came across this quote I thought of the minimum wage kid in the back making my burger. Shudder. Or think embezzlement. Or maybe the diagnosed psychopath at the psychiatric hospital where I worked with a raging case of Hepatitis who was quarantined from the kitchen. He made several sandwiches (of course in the kitchen), put them on a plate and asked a confused patient to give them to the staff at the nursing station. Or the son-in-law of our lawn guy who stole my two-hundred dollar tie down straps off of my catamaran. The quote resonated with me because it’s true. We see it proven by surveillance cameras on a daily basis which offer a snapshot into a persons true personality. But there are also times when we actually observe an individual’s lack of integrity in person. I find these moments even more telling because these snapshots speak more about a person’s moral fiber in those distilled seconds or minutes than if we had observed them for a lifetime. Examples from my own life include a co-worker who had also won a bid for two of four shelving units. Two were damaged. He beat me to them and took the two pristine shelving units leaving me the two damaged units. I would never have done this, opting to take one damaged and one pristine. Another co-worker refused to make good on a ten dollar commitment several of us made to another co-worker, daring him to sit on the lap of our VP who was playing Santa Claus, and kiss him on the cheek. Or another staff co-worker who smashed the adjacent parked car in a parking structure and took off without leaving a note. I was a manager sitting in the passenger seat and took exception to his leaving. He was a claims representative who was responsible for hundred-thousand settlements. His excuse was that their insurance will pay for it. I never trusted any of them from that point on. Of course I take the high road in all of these incidents. But how do you know I’m not just blowing sunshine?