Crossing the line: So goes the head; so goes the tail 

by Larry Buford 

Don’t you hate it when people cheat? How does it make you feel when somebody cuts ahead in line as you patiently wait your turn? How do you feel when someone cheats in a card or board game? 

I once attended a company picnic and participated in the sack race. It came down to the company director and another employee in the final stretch. When the director saw that he was about to lose, he crossed over and bumped the employee causing him to stumble. Yes, the director crossed the finish line first, but there was no honor nor glory in the feat. As we watched, some laughed it off as all in fun, but what signal was the director sending out? 

We hear it a lot these days that “rules are made to be broken” and in some situations, that may very well be; but in general, rules are set in place for the overall good. When it comes to the threat of innocent people losing life or limb, that’s another matter. Take for instance a reckless driver who ignores the lines, the traffic signals, and guardrails. That driver is not only jeopardizing their own safety, but also the safety of others. 

Corporate or company rules serve as the guidelines to frame an expectation of behavior and conduct. When we sign a contract, an agreement, or take an oath, it is a legal binder that holds us accountable to abide by a certain set of governing rules and procedures; and any violation thereof is called an infraction. 

Usually in business, depending on the severity of the infraction, management may engage an employee in what’s known as progressive discipline which allows the employee a chance to correct their ways. If the employee fails to do so within an established period of time (30, 60, 90 days), they can justifiably be terminated. 

Seems these days, lack of integrity is abounding in the highest places, and trickling down to the lowest. How difficult it is to maintain personal integrity, when everyone around you is not. 2 Timothy 3:1-5 (NIV) reads: 

 [“But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.”] 

If leadership is openly committing infractions, what can be expected of the rank and file? So goes the head; so goes the tail.

Larry S. Buford

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