Leadership Stories - Budget Problems
Here is one about how one manager failed to use ethics in his decision making process.
Failure to do so will always come back to haunt you!
What seems like a good decision today may be the one that sinks your ship tomorrow.
I will give you a hypothetical example of how a person in leadership can easily fall into a trap, if they are not careful. The trap is called "immediate gratification" in exchange for ethical behavior.
This particular regional manager was more interested in looking good to his superiors, than making ethical decisions.
The regional manager was directed by his superior to manage a very large service contract of several facilities, with more than two thousand employees.
Leadership stories are so important to learn from.
As the year grew closer and closer to a close, it was clear that if he did not take drastic action he would not meet the budgetary goal.
He began looking at every possible angle of how he could reduce expenses and/or increase sales to make up the huge deficit.
In this particular company vacation pay was accrued so that when an employee went on vacation their wages were paid from that already accrued fund. This allowed a manager to replace an employee while they were on vacation with another employee and not be penalized with additional wages.
He directed the financial manager working for him to submit payroll showing a number of employees on leave when they actually worked. Of course since they were actually working, this saved countless labor dollars.
But in reality it was also falsifying payroll records. This would not only be a violation of company policy but worse, a violation of law.
Regardless of this he carried through with this and other shady accounting practices to where he did meet the financial goals.
He was thought of as a remarkable manager by all those above him to the point where he also received a very large bonus.
Latter on the following year he was faced with a manager that reported to him that had falsified a company training document. In short, she had created a training sign in sheet that showed that employees attended training that in fact they had not. She did this to prepare for an internal inspection.
The Corporate Official reported this to the division office and after the investigation it was determined the manager should be terminated for falsifying a company document.
As luck would have it the financial manager that was directed by the regional manager to alter payroll records, was a good friend of the manager that had falsified the training document.
The financial manager decided to confront the regional manager in an effort to save his friends job.
When he confronted the regional manager he positioned it like this, "I was just wondering if the division office needed a copy of the employees that were run as vacation last year. I just want to make sure those employees don't fall through the cracks and lose their vacation in the future. With your permission I will send that to them. By the way is there anything I can do or say to save my friends job?"
The financial manager did not wait for an answer as he turned and walked out of the office!
The regional manager discovered that the financial manager had left a document on the table.
When he examined it, he seen that it was a copy of the email he had sent to the financial manager the previous year, asking him how many employees would he have to run on vacation in order to make up a certain amount of the deficit.
The regional manager felt like he had been hit in the gut with a sludge hammer.
What a tangled web we weave!