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Would I Lie To You?

Would I Lie To You?
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In the days of Ancient Greece, when the armies of the Greeks were about to destroy Troy, there lived a girl called Cassandra.

She was a special girl. As well as being beautiful and a king’s daughter, she was a prophetess in Troy. Not surprisingly for those days, such a combination of beauty and talent attracted the attention of a top executive. In this case, it was the god Apollo.

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Apollo wanted to be her mentor. At least, he wanted her. Then as now, alpha males, especially the Greek gods, often have some earthy notions about beautiful young women. She resisted. And when he got too pressing, she told a pack of lies as a way out.

Apollo was the god of truth.

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Being typically vindictive when he didn’t get his own way (not unlike many top executives today) he cursed Cassandra. From then one, every prophecy she made would be completely true…but no one would believe her. She would have to foresee every disaster—including her own murder—and be helpless to prevent them.

That’s what happens when you resort to lying to get out of a tough situation. You forfeit your credibility. Once the lie is discovered (and they nearly always are), no one will believe you again.

Integrity seems a small thing, especially when times are tough and holding onto it seems to promise nothing but misery and failure. Like the god Apollo, the people who rule our working lives aren’t always fair or ethical. Cassandra didn’t deserve to be faced with the choice of telling the truth—and being trapped into unwanted sex with the top guy—or lying to escape. It wasn’t a fair choice. But that’s the way the world is sometimes.

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Hopefully none of you will ever have to face such a dreadful situation. but milder versions of the same dilemma are frequent. The figures were calculated wrongly. Do I own up—or say they’re correct and hope no one notices? A customer’s complaint is valid, but will cost money to put right and embarrass the business. Do we acknowledge the error—or stonewall and wait until the customer gives in?

It’s so tempting to tell a few minor lies and walk away from the problem. Maybe you’ll even be praised for saving the business a few dollars. And it will be so inconvenient to have to face the truth and sort it out.

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There’s always a price. Cassandra sacrificed her integrity to save her herself from sex she didn’t want. It wasn’t a choice she should have had to face. Apollo’s revenge was out of all proportion. That’s how it is with stories. They dramatize to make a point. Yet the basic conclusion remains worth thinking about; lying your way out of trouble often causes far greater harm. Integrity is worth more than you may think.

Adrian Savage is an Englishman and a retired business executive who lives in Tucson, Arizona. You can read his serious thoughts most days at Slow Leadership, the site for anyone who wants to bring back the taste, zest and satisfaction to leadership; and his crazier ones at The Coyote Within.

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Last Updated on July 12, 2021

Lifehack Reviews: 50 Best Life Hacks for Your Life

Lifehack Reviews: 50 Best Life Hacks for Your Life
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Do you want to be as productive as many of us, but missed a lot of actions at lifehack.org during the year? We’ve selected the best 50 life hacks, based on their popularity and contents in different categories. Invest your time – read them. Bookmark this page and mark reading them as one of your new year resolutions.

Communication, Writing, Studying

  1. My Best Presentation Tricks
  2. The Business Card Game
  3. Persuasive Writing for Students, Webmasters, Bloggers, and Everyone Else
  4. 7 tips of handling your Emails without feeling overwhelmed
  5. Writing as a Form of Self Healing
  6. Advice for students: Writing by hand
  7. Yes, But Do People Like You?
  8. Writing – Just do it!
  9. A good place to study
  10. Blog your way through Writer’s Block
  11. 14 Tips for Communicating Ideas

Productivity, Creativity, Motivation

  1. 9 Top Secrets of Naturally Born Organizers
  2. Fight The Flab!
  3. More Fight The Flab!
  4. Limit Creativity, Get Innovation
  5. Precious Moments
  6. 5 Ways to Improve Your Productivity in the Office
  7. A Geek’s Best Lifehack
  8. What Kind of Paranoid Are You?
  9. Being A Creative
  10. There’s No Time!
  11. The Mysteries Behind Motivation and How To Manipulate Them
  12. Time Management: Handling Disruptions in Daily Schedules
  13. Productivity Hack: Write Mini Process Flows
  14. Design an Online Workflow

Management, Self-Management, Entrepreneurship

  1. Bare Bones Project Hacks
  2. The 10 Beliefs of Great Managers
  3. The Simplest Path to Success
  4. Letting Things Go
  5. Closet Entrepreneur
  6. Time To Discard The Portmanteau
  7. 5 Important Keys to Bootstrap Your Entrepreneurship
  8. The Most Underutilized Tool for Effective Communication
  9. Everyday Performance Reviews
  10. Meetings, @&!!$*@ Meetings!
  11. What Are You Worried About?
  12. How to Ruin Your Career In Five Easy Steps

Procrastination, Goal Settings, Life

  1. 9 Steps to Define your Goal Destination and Devise a Plan to Get There
  2. Pro-Active Steps to Prevent Procrastination
  3. Improve Your Life By Following A Schedule
  4. The Causes of Procrastination And How To Conquer Them
  5. How To Make Resolutions You’ll Keep
  6. Literal Life Hack: Cut your window of time in half
  7. New Year’s Resolutions and Deficit Thinking
  8. 6 Sleep Tips
  9. Risks versus Rewards Worksheet
  10. 5 Tips for Getting Out of Debt (and Why)
  11. Deep Breathing: A Great Health Trick
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Are there any lifehacks that you’ve learned over the past year?

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Featured photo credit: Rainier Ridao via unsplash.com

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