He worried most of all about his students’ integrity. He told them about Jeff Skilling, but the thought of prison was so extreme he could see that most of them dismissed it. They didn’t seem to realize how easy it was for a good person (and he believed that almost everyone started out good; Mormons don’t believe in original sin) to make one tiny, unimportant compromise after another, until he was too compromised to find an honest way back. He told them about how at Oxford he had refused to play basketball on a Sunday, even though it was the national championships, because he had promised God he wouldn’t; and how much pressure his coach and teammates had put on him to compromise just that one time. Later, he realized that if he had said yes that time he would have had no standing to say no another time, and what he learned—one of the most important lessons of his life—was that it was easier to do the right thing a hundred per cent of the time than ninety-eight per cent of the time.
Tuesday, May 16, 2017
It was easier to do the right thing a hundred per cent of the time than ninety-eight per cent of the time.
From When Giants Fail: What business has learned from Clayton Christensen by Larissa MacFarquhar.