Project Management

Cheating – Small or big?

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We all tackle ethical dilemmas. Wrong decisions can break careers. Which are the key challenges faced? What are some likely solutions? Where can we find effective tools? Who can apply these and why? Dry, theoretical discussions don't help. Join us for lively, light conversations to learn, share and grow!

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How much cheating can be allowed to win? Is it important to cheat to win or is it ok to lose but not to cheat?

Some of us face some of these questions when either we as leaders take any decision or we follow leader who says winning come before the virtue and values.

During the recent ball tampering episode happened in South Africa followed by serious admissions and long term bans, one of the questions come up very strongly is that how come no one from the 11 people of the team said ‘No’ to cheat when it was tabled.  

Are we becoming so blind followers to our leaders that we don’t apply our own values, learnings to say that – Hey, this looks wrong, something doesn’t seem right here and we should stop, I think we are making the error of judgement. How many times we have found ourselves in the situations where our senior leaders, Famous personalities are asking us to do something and we doubt it?

Of course it is easier to say that it’s all part of the culture where winning comes before values and virtues. So what if it’s only a game but a loss if not tolerated and ‘winning is everything’ rather than ‘winning honorably’. The cricket team in question here of course resorted to many other ways in past like sledging, over the top celebration, aggressive send-off in the past which were considered acceptable in the light of law and hence ball tampering seems to be a little further extension in order to win.

This is the problem with small cheating and it is often found that people tend to forget the line very easily when small becomes large and so large that it completely destroyed their career and image which they have earned hard ways.        

Making the right choice and understanding that what we are planning to do is not right becomes very complicated, especially when everything is a matter of just few degrees.

This was a the true test of leadership where as a leader, you have to show trust on to your team, find ways to success by inspiring the team in the event of loss and improve so that team can return to the winning ways. The true leader knows the line and always plays by the rules even if it means loss.

What Australian captain did was certainly not traits of the true leader. True leaders don’t ask their team members to cheat and they don’t succumb to the pressure of losing so much so that cheating looks last resort. He was thinking that whatever he will do is the acceptable actions and they are the ones who decide the line. Unfortunately it wasn’t so.   

Good leaders don’t cheat and they don’t lose faith in their team and never ceases to try to find ways to succeed. They inspire the team to come out of negativity, they support, help their team to be more positive and productive rather than slumping down to cheat or cut corners.

Needless to say that having ethics is vital because not only it’s based on truth, virtue and righteousness, but true leader also show light to others, guide the team the right way to behave and act.

To conclude, cheating small or big is absolute no-no and focus should be on winning righteously and honorably rather than just winning at any cost.

For more ethical resources please visit:

Posted by Alankar Karpe on: May 14, 2018 07:19 AM | Permalink

Comments (26)

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Great blog, many thanks

I remember the glory days of 70's cricket for Australia. The recent cheating scandal really brought us down. But we will be back, being the greatest World Cup and Ashes team in history.

I agree, Cheating is Cheating whether it is big or small. It could start small and get bigger. Good Points.

I completely agree with you on this, and thanks for sharing.

Good story. Thank you

Thanks for sharing

Thank you everyone for your comments. I understand your pain Sante!

Stick with making the 'right choice', though they may not always b the choices that are wanted or expected.

Thanks, for sharing your thoughts with us Alankar.

It's all absolutely right, but... So much people don's think so, yeah?

Great article, Alankar!

Having ethical convictions and virtues far outweighs winning.
Success does not always mean coming in first place.

Alankar, thanks for sharing this article.

Cheating is bad! It is a behavior that comes naturally for some or is pathological for others.
This psychological human trait creates plenty of problems in short and long run, mainly for the originator; often, it has a ripple effect for the ones "touched" by it.

Human behavior can be explained by the "Big Five" traits (i.e. openness, conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism). Recently researchers have identified a sixth personality trait, dishonesty. An "Honest-Humility" factor, measured as part of a personality assessment may reveal the tendency of some towards this behavior.

For project managers, this translate into continuing observation, continue development of the soft skills beside mastering ethical knowledge and all the other technical skills that allow, if not prevent, this detrimental behavior.

Very good, We don't condemn cheater once discover that is the other part of the equation.

Thank you Lily!

Thank you Vincent, Tajudeen, Mark, Andrew, Mikhail and Eduin for sharing your thoughts!

Great piece, Alankar!
Cheating in sport can create a huge negatve impact on young minds who idolize their favorite players as role models.
Please do keep sharing for the benefit of our PM community!

Great piece, Alankar!
Cheating in sport can create a huge negatve impact on young minds who idolize their favorite players as role models.
Please do keep sharing for the benefit of our PM community!

Great piece, Alankar!
Cheating in sport can create a huge negatve impact on young minds who idolize their favorite players as role models.
Please do keep sharing for the benefit of our PM community!

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