Bending the rules to advance a person’s career—What principles govern this decision to “bend” the rules? Is it ever okay to cheat or trick someone or misuse something to advance my own individual cause?
If a person is being honest, he would say break the rules because if the rule is bent it is the same as broken. So, what are we talking about in this discussion: right versus wrong; responsible versus irresponsible; moral versus immoral. In most cases, there is no such thing as just bending the rule.
Here is the basic tenet: Bending the rules is a slippery slope. Once a person starts bending the rule, then it becomes easier and easier to break the next one. The fact is that bending the rules even once can get a person into trouble.
In the Bible’s New Testament, James 2:10 says, "For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.
Jiminy Cricket offered Pinocchio advice: “Always let your conscience be your guide.” Conscience is not a reliable guide. We declare that no one knows better than we do what is good for our own personal lives. For most people, moral choices are private matters. We are ethical worlds unto ourselves. Again this can be a slippery slope because a person does not live in a vacuum. A person’s decisions most of the time do impact another person or group.
Bending the rules to suit ourselves is objectionable in any situation. What if my conscience says it is okay to take my office personnel files so that I can find out information that I might be able to use against my fellow co-workers? My conscience is not bothered by getting the “goods” on other people.
Every person at someone time will need to apply the principles of integrity, ethics, or morality to a situation in which he finds himself at a crossroads. Which way does the person go? Most of the time, bending of the rules is a black and white issues: It is either right or wrong?
Bending the rules applies the test of “Can a person be trusted?” Will that person be able to make judgments with integrity? Where does the rule bending stop? All of the answers to the questions make it obvious that it is never okay to bend/break the rules to advance the career...where will it stop?