Yesterday I rejected a six-figure consulting deal because it just didn’t look and feel right. This was based on an old nugget of wisdom that my former boss Mr. Jairo Posada left with me during a core values and compliance workshop. He said, “Shridhar, if something flaps its wings like chicken, smells like chicken and looks like chicken, it must be chicken.”
When Jairo had shared his nugget of wisdom, we were in a Core values program where the emphasis was being laid on adherence to those values. The key to adherence to those core values was to differentiate between right and wrong. The trick was to be able to identify those actions or situations that while seemingly normal, could potentially be violations of our core values and result in non-compliance and subsequent penalties.
Let me explain.
I received an email from a senior executive of a seemingly reputed company (I checked his profile on Linkedin ) enquiring about my ability to complete a consulting assignment and that the scope will be defined upon my positive response. I responded positively. The next day I got an e-mail defining the scope of the project.
Without going into specific details, everything in the project, from the name of the potential client company, their website, definition of scope,to the operations to the payment seemed fishy. In fact, their business activity seemed copied from that of another well-established company in the similar field. My dilemma was, should I continue the conversation or not.
It is at that point in time that I remembered Jairo Posada’s sage like advice, “if something flaps its wings like chicken, smells like chicken and looks like chicken, it must be chicken.”
I decided to let go of the consulting project.
Quite so often in life, we come across situations that are similar – that prima-facie look good, lucrative and tempting. The impulsive decision,during difficult and challenging times such as this would be to lunge to it and grab the opportunity. But if you look closely or scratch the surface,the anomalies start appearing. And that’s where the nugget of wisdom is so useful.
All that glitters is not gold!