In the Bible there’s a story of a man named Achan. Achan was one of the men involved in the plunder of Jericho. If you know Bible history, Jericho is the city where God supernaturally made the walls fall down. After God’s intervention, the Israelites plundered the city. But God had told them not to keep anything for themselves. All the spoils of victory were to be an offering to Him. Achan had other ideas. He kept and hid some items and buried them under his tent.
Later Joshua, the leader of the Israelites, finds out Achan’s sin and Achan and his whole family are stoned to death for disobeying God’s instruction. Now I am not trying to get into a theological debate with you or anything of that nature, but what is interesting is that the sins of one person affected the whole community.
This leads me to Volkswagen. VW had (still has?) designs on overtaking Toyota as the world’s largest producer of automobiles. Those plans, at best, are stalled as VW is dealing with the ramifications of their cheating emissions systems. But VW was also getting ready to enter the U.S. trucking manufacturing industry as well. How many people uninvolved with the actual cheating are going to lose their jobs because a few leaders at the top directed a few engineers to cheat? How many stockholders will see their life-savings diminished by these decisions? How many consumers are now dissatisfied with their less-than-clean TDI Golfs, Jettas, Passats, and Audis? How many people have to die because of Achan’s sins?
And now, what does this have to do with you? It’s a leadership questions, but it’s also one of trust… How are you leading your employees, your colleagues, or your family? Who are you entrusting with your company’s future – who is handling your freight?
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