There was a CEO I worked for once that had this analogy for his behavior: don’t do anything that you wouldn’t be proud to see on the front page of a newspaper.
It’s a good analogy. Because my father was an attorney, I also have the analogy of whatever I do ending up in court and having all sorts of questions asked of me about what I do.
One could almost call it a bit paranoid. But perhaps not.
Over at Trust Matters, Charles H. Green writes about Trust, Privacy and Professionalism and contends that there is essentially nothing left that is private, even if it may be personal. He offers up some pretty good insights, too:
The world is becoming less about competitive production, and more about commercial collaboration. Less vertical, more horizontal. Less internal, more external. The atomic unit of business is no longer the corporation: it’s the individual. We move around. Our benefits and pensions are less tied to our employer. Ditto our personal lives.
The idea of “private” behaviors is becoming obsolete.
With e-mails from the Justice Department, Enron, and others being aired like dirty laundry on the news, newspapers, web sites and blogs, one would think we would learn that what we might think as private really isn’t any more.
Think about the last two weeks of your life and put all of your behavior and actions up on the front page. Would it make you proud of what you’ve done?