Can a Few Bad Apples Spoil the Whole Barrel

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Can a few bad apples spoil the whole barrel? If the bad apples are not removed, yes they can eventually spoil the entire barrel. Of course we are talking companies and people and not actual apples. However the analogy can hold true. If there are a few that have little or no morals in the company at any level they can eventually harm the entire structure. There are two ways to keep this from happening, institute change or remove the problem. Of the two changes can be the hardest. It has to be well mapped out, instituted and then have the majority buy into it and follow it. Most importantly leadership has to do exactly that, lead the change. If there is any faltering at any point then momentum is lost and the change will not be as effective as it should be.

My list of personal virtues and values starts and ends with respect. To make it anywhere in this world you need to respect others, the environment and yourself. Respect of others is basic. Listen to their thoughts and ideas. Don’t belittle them. If for no other reason, respect them as a person. Respect your environment. Your environment can be your home, your office, any space you function in. Show respect for your surroundings and it well tell a lot about you. Finally respect yourself. That will show eventually show in your work and your interactions with others. If you cannot respect yourself, how can you expect anyone else to respect you?

In between the start and end I would put, integrity, patience, reliability and loyalty. All are important elements not only for work, but for life.

Reference

Johnson, Craig. (2007) “Ethics in the Workplace: Tools and Tactics for Organizational Transformation.” (1st Edition) Sage Publications: Thousand Oaks, CA
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