Lies spread

Many years ago, I was once interviewing with a company, and during the hiring process I realised that they were lying to their audience.

It was not a big lie, it was about inflating some numbers to look bigger, something that most companies do. I was kind of surprised with the tone one of the executives in the room told me that was a lie: it felt like I was talking to a kid caught with their hands in the cookie jar, he was very apologetic, and he had a very good and thorough explanation on the reasoning behind the lie.

That episode should have been an eye-opener to the culture I could have found in the day-to-day operations. Because the fact is, lies spread.

A lie leads to more lies. It is very difficult to stop at one lie, to just say this little one once, for the best possible reason, and then go back to telling the truth.

A lie infects others. It is more than likely that, if you start with a lie, others around you will not be honest and transparent in return.

A lie begs for a wider audience. If you tell a lie to your customers, chances are next you are going to lie to your business partner, to the shareholders, to the employees, to the community.

Interviews are full of these kind of hints. But we are often blind to them, as we tell ourselves the story that having a job is the priority. It is not, and we could be better at picking jobs that align with our values.

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