Karma in the C-Suite? Readers Respond

Does “what goes around come around”? BLR® CEO Dan Oswald shared his thoughts on the subject in a recent edition of The Oswald Letter. Many readers agreed with Oswald; others were concerned about his state of mind.

Oswald’s original column concluded: “Don’t spend your time thinking about how unfair life is because some people seem to be benefiting despite the way they are living their lives. You may never know what price they have paid or will pay for their apparent success, but rest assured there is one because what goes around does come around.”

Here’s what the readers had to say:

‘Why would you care?’

Absolutely, what goes around comes around. I have my own adage: The shortest distance between two points is a straight line, but some people will always try to take a shortcut by looking for the angles. 

As for still being burned by having your integrity questioned, perhaps you are looking at it the wrong way. Why would you care about what someone who has no integrity themselves says about you? We can’t control what other people say about us, but we don’t have to let it define us. The people who care about you will know the truth, and the other people don’t matter anyway.

‘Thank you’

I’m glad to know there are others who feel the same way as me.

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Agree 100%—wish more people did! Used to be that a person’s word was all you needed—but now EVERYTHING has to put into a written, binding contract! So unfortunate and sad this is the NORM! Thanks for letting me know that some of US still exist!

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I needed this today. I have someone who is EXACTLY like this, and my feelings have mirrored the story. Thanks!

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Thanks for writing this article. I have an issue at my organization which has been weighing heavy on my heart and reading this today was exactly what I needed. Keep telling the truth, there are many I’m sure get energy from reading it as I have!

‘I hope the author can forgive.’

This article is so true, but I hope the author … can forgive these guys that were involved in that past business dealing. Don’t know … if you are a Christian or not, but God won’t hear your prayers if you are harboring unforgiveness. I’ve personally been working through some of these same issues myself. Good Luck!

‘Take the giant step of forgiving and forgetting.’

Good article, however, I would highly recommend that you make the giant step of forgiving and forgetting. You can carry the anger and hatred toward those who wronged you, but in the end it is you that will suffer more than they. In all likelihood, they have forgotten about the “deal gone bad,” and there is very good certainty that they have forgotten about you or what they did to you. I would suggest you take the high road, forgive them and get on with your life, without the lingering baggage of hate. To me that is what integrity is really all about.

‘Bitterness will eat you alive.’

There are also lessons to be learned in life. Perhaps one of your life’s lessons was to “learn to forgive and Let Go.” You see, my friend, bitterness will eat you alive. Now you have been carrying this around inside of you for 6 years or better. Let me ask you this? Are you any better off? Release your anguish, bless the mistake on their part, and go forth. Karma will come around, you will be at peace, and perhaps the other parties will see their imperfections as well.

‘Business advisor or coach  … will help.’

“Integrity is forever.” Often, when you are in the middle of an issue, it’s hard to see the trees in the forest. Call on a business advisor or coach to talk you through BOTH sides of the challenges … it will help to create a win-win outcome that others publicly and privately applaud.

‘Excellent article’

Like you I believe in Integrity mainly because I have to live with myself. I just can’t do what I watch others get away with. It’s frustrating. Thank you for stating exactly how I feel.

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I couldn’t agree more.

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This is a wonderful article and an approach that more people need to take to heart. The world seems to be lacking in morals these days. If only everyone took this stance the world would be a much better place.

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I agree 110% with Karma (except for the Bin Laden comment as I have my own political views on this).

‘I’d like to think’

I’d like to think that what goes around comes around. Occasionally, I’ve seen it happen. But too often, the coming around is long after the original principals—the evildoer and the person(s) harmed directly and immediately—are gone or no longer able to feel any benefit from the coming around. Perhaps that, too, is a truth. It comes around when you no longer think about it or want it or no longer are literally or figuratively “here” to see it.

‘Ethics and integrity harder to find’

Great article! I was recently contemplating how individual ethics and integrity in the world, not just workplace, seem to be getting harder to find. But this article nicely sums up the simple fact that sacrificing your integrity is never worth what you may think you can gain! Nor can one ever know looking from the outside the price others pay for their misdeeds. This article will be a great conversation starter.

‘You’re not alone.’

I had a similar situation in which a formerly close colleague questioned my integrity–and you’re not the only one who finds that type of thing difficult to get over.

‘Some actually do not care.’

Let’s not forget [CEOs and leaders of organizations] who actually do NOT care about what happens to others and how they treat them. Several studies have now shown that the incidence of psychopathy among CEOs is about 4 percent, four times what it is in the population at large.

You stated that it will come back around or somehow they will feel loss of integrity. These folks don’t have that ability. Many of us work for these types of folks. The only way out of that situation is to leave (hard to do for some, especially in this economy) or do what you can to have as little contact in any way with that individual or what they “lead” or manage.
Unfortunately, they exist, believe me …

 ‘Your article has helped me continue forward.’

I really liked your article. It gave me hope because I recently left a job in which I was hired during a crisis they were having. The owners were glad to see the director leave who was, they felt cheating them with time and mileage. The director had also hired her own husband who appeared to be doing the same. When the director left, she took all her notes and passwords. I literally started from scratch figuring it all out. There were piles of filing, etc. I was the bad person, in firing people they felt were not loyal and, furthermore, cheating as well.

I got the office back pay in the thousands, finished the filing, proceeded in getting new funding, and became a favorite with the clients and their families. I got along well with the staff, except one. At one point I told her she had a habit of interrupting me. This angered her in a way that she did everything to get me fired. She even stated she knew how to get people fired. I met with the owners and stated to them that I felt they had stopped listening to my ideas and advice as a director. They naturally denied it. I also told them I noticed they had stopped inviting me to crucial meetings and trainings and I felt left out.

I proposed I become a part-time employee since I was only doing payroll, billing, and acquiring new funding. They said they would meet with me in a week. In a week they told me they decided to let me go, but if I could stay two weeks to train them on Excel®

I couldn’t believe this was the thank you I was getting. They said I was an excellent employee but yet they needed my help to show them everything. After talking to my husband, I decided to leave the following day after I wrapped up some work and gathered my belongings. Now they tell everyone I didn’t do a thing.

These are church-going people and claim they want to return to their country of Ecuador to help their people and set up the exact same business. I was very hurt and saddened by them and felt like calling them to ask why they were smearing my name and work. My husband said just let it go. I don’t want to carry the grudge and your article has helped me to continue forward and maybe I am entitled to the grudge but I will feel better letting go.

Thanks to all readers for your comments!

  • Anonymous

    In more cases than not, we are truly seeing a rise in psychopathic behavior on the part of leaders in organizations. The mindset of “its not personal, its business!” has systemically infiltrated our business systems in the most negative way possible. My professional function, Human Resources, has added to the prevalence of this type of behavior vs reducing it as it was designed to do. I always say, if HR was doing its job, we wouldn’t need unions! I have endured a lot of adversity because I am a proponent of the people, whereas most of my colleagues are proponents for leaders only. Employee relations issues are always the employee’s fault and never the leader’s…even if the leader is known to be a bad leader. I believe in Karma and have seen it in action. I also believe in forgiveness and realize that people who don’t know how to treat others as they want to be treated, often times don’t know how to treat themselves! Hurt people, hurt others! They live through “images” of how they want people to think that they are living. They pretend to have balanced lives, when you can clearly see that they are completely imbalanced. They target people that they fear are “truly” happy! It all boils down to knowing who you are and being happy with who you are. Nothing can get you there except belief in yourself, your God and an understanding that there is no such thing as “superiority or inferiority” among human beings. These human bodies that we live in will expire and there is nothing that can stop that! So why do we think we have to treat ANYONE badly…because we have money or a certain job title or material wealth? Guess what? You can’t take any of those things with you when you leave this earth and God doesnt care about those things. He knows that in the greater scheme of things, they mean nothing! If you think that you can live a lifetime hurting other people because you have position power and that there is no recourse for the behavior, you will end up with nothing…least of all, happiness!

  • Anonymous

    Let it go and move on…You know your worth and value. Demonstrate that you are above pettiness…