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August 28, 1999

Taking Action

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We begin to experience the Power of One when we live by the Golden Rule.
Think through the following situations—the Golden Challenges—and determine how the Golden Rule exposes the ethical choice in each situation:

Golden Challenge #1

A client of yours is looking to buy some of your product. The product’s currently on sale, but the client doesn’t know this. Is it ethical to complete the order at the original price and make more money for your company, or should you tell the client about sale price, decreasing company profit?

Apply the Golden Rule.

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Golden Challenge #2

You have committed to some family activities that will take place in the upcoming weekend. Your children and spouse are not only expecting you to be there, but they are very excited about your presence. Heading into the weekend, you’re offered a spot in the company sky box for the big game. It isn’t a requirement, but it is a good opportunity to mingle with clients and your boss. Plus this is the biggest game of the season. There certainly is a way to spin it to your family as company duty. Where should you be?

Apply the Golden Rule.
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Golden Challenge #3

You’re setting up a reunion with some old college friends. The plans are beginning to come together and you need to make a few phone calls and send a few emails to pass on some information. In your busy schedule, it sure would be helpful to knock some of this stuff out during your down time at the office. And, just two weeks ago you were burning the midnight oil on two different projects that really never got counted anywhere. This could be like an evening of the scales. Is it ethical to use company time, phones, and email to do this?

Apply the Golden Rule.
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Golden Challenge #4

An older lady at the mall is working the cash register. You popped in to pick up a gift and have only a very narrow window to get your errand accomplished during your lunch break. She is too slow, too talkative, too unaware of your sense of urgency and actually is very unhelpful. Your choices: be late going back to work, abort your mission and figure out a different plan, or ask for a different sales person to help you. You want to be nice but something has to give. What do you do?

Apply the Golden Rule.
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Golden Challenge # 5

You manage an employee who isn’t cutting it even after all your attempts to help. You plan on letting him go when his contract expires next month. You are under no legal/contractual obligation to give him notice. You think that if you tip him off, he’ll do even worse and cause company morale to suffer. You know that he is about to close on a new house he just purchased. What do you do? Give him notice or not?

Apply the Golden Rule.
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Golden Challenge #6

You were off to a good start this morning before you arrived at the airport. You weren’t even running late. But as you went through the security station you encountered the Darth Vader of airline security check guards. There is nothing friendly about him. He obviously took too many power pills for breakfast that morning. He spoke loudly, saying repeatedly, “I couldn’t care less about your flight time. This is all about you getting through my station and I will not be rushed.” For some reason he picks you out for a detailed search. You are obviously being treated unfairly. What do you do? Do you simply go along with a smile? Do you block him out and obey his silly rule but then purge him from your memory card? Do you take him on and let him know he’s not being very helpful? Do you ask to talk to his supervisor?

Apply the Golden Rule.
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Golden Challenge #7

You work at a local auto body shop. A family comes in to drop off their SUV for damages and repairs. You forgot to order the parts two weeks before so that they would be waiting for the appointment and the family could get their car out in one week, as promised. When they come by to drop the car off you know that they will not be able to get their vehicle out for three weeks. Do you just sit on that information to keep their business? Or do you step up to the plate and disclose the truth knowing that might trigger them to take their repair elsewhere?

Apply the Golden Rule.
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Golden Challenge #8

You are eating at restaurant and while you are eating the girl attending your table has to leave for an emergency. Somehow all the tickets got misplaced and lost. One of your meals was cold when it arrived to the table and on top of that it was horrible. Everyone is gone and there is no way the new girl checking you out has any idea what you ordered. Do you account for only the food that was good? Do you talk to the manager? Or what do you do?

Apply the Golden Rule.
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Golden Challenge # 9

You’re in charge of purchasing. You’ve just bid out a project to three suppliers. After receiving two of the three bids, you’re not getting the pricing you’re looking for. You don’t have much time left. You know that if you share the price quotes with the third supplier they will come in with a quote that will save the company money and you your deadline. What do you do?

Apply the Golden Rule.
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The Power of One assumes there is never a situation or setting in which the Golden Rule can’t help out, add value, or guide us toward the good, the right, and the true. It is the ultimate one-size-fits-all for life. It can help me everyday in every way.

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