Cheaters Never Prosper

Recently I was asked a question… “How many cheaters did you face in your life either professionally at work or in your personal life?  Please advise on how to avoid this and how one can tell if someone is cheating you professionally.”

My Answer: I have found that there are fewer cheaters out there than what people think. Unfortunately there is a lack of understanding of each other and our differences. When we interpret these differences through our own experiences we give meaning to them…many times incorrectly. The only way to overcome these challenges is to listen, talk, and learn rather than become defensive, shut down, or become passive aggressive.

For those real cheaters out there most of them act out of fear and self interest and it shows. When we meet them at their level we fall prey to losing our ground and ourselves in the process. The best way to overcome cheaters is to be transparent, make your organization transparent, and focus on others and possibilities. Cheaters can gain in the short term, but they can never outperform those doing great work in a great way over the long term. Just ask Bernie Madoff and Allen Stanford.

What are your answers…

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5 thoughts on “Cheaters Never Prosper

  1. I have seen more cheaters than I expected. Maybe I expected closer to no cheaters in my line of work, but it turns out there are a few hiding in just about every organization I have come across.

    These people talk a big game,but offer no value to their organizations or the clients they serve. They cheat their co-workers, their organization and their clients. I have yet to figgure out a way to deal with them effectively when they are at a high enough level.

    • George,

      Here are some book resources that may help you:

      Employee Engagement by Federman
      Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway by Jeffers
      Crucial Confrontations by Patterson
      Emotional Blackmail by Forward

      I find we get caught up in these cheaters too much. Sometimes that means we are fearful, sometimes we play games, avoid, or fight. If we are able to keep our eyes on the bigger picture, maintain our integrity, and account for these individuals without making our decisions based on these individuals we are better off.

  2. “Cheater Radar” is not currently available as an ap, and you are unlikely to avoid cheaters in either your business or your personal life. What you can do, however, is to keep your own life on the up-and-up, and to scrutinize ideas and opportunities with a high level of skepticism and a modicum of common sense.

    This is not to say that you should ignore the hare-brained schemes and slightly wacky ideas that come your way — sometimes they lead to opportunities and friendships that will change and enrich your life.

  3. I think you need first to define what is meant by ‘cheater’. Clearly, criminals are rare (although I contend that you have cited 2 people who were caught, while we have no idea of the possible number who are not), however I observe common workplace ‘cheating’ if you take organisational politics into consideration, which is what I see in the question posed.

    People who ‘work the system’, take credit for others’ work, talk a good game yet rely on others actually delivering, stifle creativity in their staff & then say ‘we’re searching the market for talent’ as if they didn’t have it right there – now there’s a game that seems unavoidable.

    I would contend that you’ll see a number of these throughout organisations & very much in middle, if not senior management positions (viz the current crisis) and in that sense, yes they do win. They may or may not be conscious of their behaviour and if they are may not have any ethical dilemma, just see it as part & parcel of work &, in fact, the only way to get on. If this is the case, challenging them directly isn’t going to get an honest answer.

    At work, to know if you’re being ‘professionally cheated’ will need access to the management to know what impression they have of you & who’s done what. Basically, start to become aware of any underlying politics & see if you can or want to ‘play’.

    I think, if you have an inkling you’re being cheated, trust your instinct.

    So, per previous responses we need to open our eyes & ears & work on our own strategies, decide our own path to keep ourselves sane!

  4. Pingback: False Job References : The Job Quest

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