When I was a small kid of around 6 years old I wanted to go to see a local house-fire with some of the older kids in the neighborhood. My dad told me not to go. If I did go, it would be my choice and I would have to suffer the consequences of my choice. Using the short term thinking of a child, how could I possibly get in trouble if I went with a group of older, wiser 12 and 13 year olds? So, I traveled the three or four blocks to see the house on fire. When my dad noticed I was gone he came looking for me. He found me standing with the other kids watching that fire! I then had to pay the piper for my actions!
My dad made me cut a small switch from one of the fruit trees in our yard so he could spank me with it. Although he gave me one quick stinging tap on the touche for my punishment, the real punishment was my having to endure the shame of cutting my own weapon of punishment! He also said something I didn’t understand until years later. My dad told me that “this hurts me far more than it will hurt you”. That day I learned a few valuable lessons from my dad. He may not have been mindful of his teaching but I never forgot his disappointment in me. My dad only delivered the punishment for the poor choice I chose to make.
To this day, I believe in the importance of accepting the political consequences of the choices we make in all walks of our life. I think that whether you are in the workplace or in our country’s capitol, people believe if they own up to their poor choices that they will lose their power. In reality, they would gain more power because the electorate would actually believe them. Same thing happens in the workplace. If you are honest and take your medicine, you build the trust people have in you.