A Question of Principle

February 12, 2010

In a discussion, would you rather win, or be right?

Sure, it would be best to be right on principle and have that principle win the argument. And I know the difference between discussion and dialogue. But if you believed you were forced to choose, which way would you go?

I had a situation recently where I thought a core principle of mine was at stake, and to the surprise of the folks I was working with, I took a hard stand. I “gave them the finger” as one person put it. He was probably right.

I knew I could have gotten my way without shooting them the metaphorical bird, but I was willing to surrender success on the project to adherence to the principle. I think most involved that observed my behavior scratched their heads and thought “what the f**k is wrong with this guy?”

I was probably the only one involved that saw it as an either/or issue.

In the end, the project succeeded. More importantly, I believe the process we used will see improvement, and that was the real purpose of my hard stand. I’m pretty sure I came out looking worse in some peoples’ eyes for how I behaved. I do care about that, but what other people think about me does not matter.

Treat your reputation as a look in the mirror, not a pose for the camera.

Related Posts:

ACT Change: Free Yourself From The System Of External Sanctions

By Staying True To My Values, I Can Serve Others Well And Fulfill My Potential

Our Purpose Is Our Best Guide

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