The Unintended Consequences of Doing the “Right Thing”
Unintended is a new series on Empoweringthe80Percent with the purpose of looking at the unintended side-effects, after-effects and often overlooked realities that our actions and decisions create. Click here to see all articles in the Unintended series.
A look at why doing the right thing didn't get you the results you expected.
Several few months ago, my wife Ashley and I had an awful experience with our bank. Like thousands of people out there, we had some of our financial information stolen and our credit cards, while still in our possession, were somehow used to buy about $3000 worth of products across the UK.
After dozens of phone calls, hours of time spent and hundreds of pages of paperwork, we got about 85% of our money returned to us. We thought all had been resolved when the fraudulent charges started coming up again. The bank was still not declining purchases on the cards they knew were stolen!
We switched banks. We decided that due to the unnecessary headaches the first bank gave us, we needed to change. After being told we wouldn't ever see the other $400 returned to us, we filed one final claim, closed all accounts and opened new ones with the bank down the street. Everything has been fine since.
Fast forward about 8 months. A check for $400 arrived at our house. Our bank had done the right thing.
What I learned from this experience is that simply doing the right thing is not enough. By returning what was stolen from us, by doing the right thing, our bank still lost our business.
Sometimes doing the right thing is doing the bare minimum. If all we do, and all we ask of those we lead, is to do the right thing, that is often not enough. Our competitors in business, our competitors in sports and in life, are often going above and beyond.
No champion will ever say, or has ever said, that all they did were the right things. Champions say things like, “I came in early and stayed late” and things like “I pushed myself further than I ever have before.” Doing the right thing is simply the ticket to entry.
So, I wanted to include this article in the Unintended series because even though the bank did the right thing in the end, they still lost a long time and quality customer. I have to ask myself, in what ways am I only doing the right thing?
Let me know your thoughts! Do you agree? Disagree? What have your experiences been with doing the right thing? Please share your comments in the section below.