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Volume 30, Issue 1

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Thursday, 16 March 2017 15:19

Here’s the Number – Go Make it Happen!

Big Boss calls you into his office and gives you the quarterly revenue number he wants you to report.  He tells you “this is the number, now go make it happen.” What options do you have here and what consequences are you willing to accept in this situation?  -e-Factor!® scenario

Have you ever been told, “here’s the number, now go make it happen?” This is a real-life scenario that anyone in business could face. I’ve faced it myself. In the heat of the moment, do we know how to respond?

Let’s analyze this situation to see what choices – and potential consequences – we have available to us.  First, let’s identify the ethics issues here.  The scenario does not offer much detail, but the implication is clear: Big Boss has a number in mind.  Under what circumstances would this be an acceptable request? If we received direction for sales goals, production targets or the purchase price for a particular item, this would be fantastic communication, right?  If the number the boss wants to report is close to the actual financial result achieved, the request might even be reasonable.  Perhaps the boss has information we did not have access to and wants us to make corrections.  Still, no ethics issue here. However, if Big Boss’ number is nowhere close to the actual result, we have a conflict.