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Home » The hard thing about doing the right thing, is that it is hard when you must do it.

The hard thing about doing the right thing, is that it is hard when you must do it.

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Novak Djokovic, a nine-time and defending Australian Open champion, has been practicing at Rod Laver Arena since being released from immigration detention. James Ross/EPA

This commentary was inspired as a follow up to double standards and how organizations authentically live their values. When Codes of Conduct or Ethics state a set of beliefs or behaviors it wishes to aim towards, then fails to follow through when tough decisions need to be made, it jeopardizes the integrity of the entity. Here we address the personal decisions people make based upon their expectations or entitlements. Either by having been granted special treatment previously, or that they may ask for forgiveness after the fact.

When you look at the behavior pattern, without regard to the status of the player, it paints an obvious course of what should happen. If you or I were the one traveling to the tournament in Australia this week, we know with high certainty what transpires. There would be some form of consequences. But because it is the #1 seed, special determinations are being considered.

Employees struggle with determining the right thing to do when complexity of conflicts of interests are present. Corporate values statements, client demands, and personal pressures to perform collide and make doing the right thing, the truly hard thing to do. While Novak Djokovic traveled within the quarantine period and then claimed his agent inadvertently marked the wrong box, his comments seem less than genuine. The form seems rather straight forward. Did he not think people would be able to determine his travel and see the omissions?

When the scenario is placed together, and then one does not hear anything from the major parner, or other partners in the tournament, it seems clear that a wide berth is afforded the star. What many fail to consider are the ripples of consequences for such failing in accountability. Organizations that condone such favoritism, create double standards. It builds greater risks into organizations. Employees feel it, and consumers, clients and users feel it. They may use the product for a while, but eventually, they grow distrustful that the organization has their back.

As someone who speaks, on ethics and happiness, it is clear what should be done. The Immigration Minister should rescind the visa and either have begun a quarantine process, which was clearly not done, or deport Mr. Djokovic. With that form of accountability, it sends a message that safety is paramount and that all must play by the rules. The major and associate partners should quickly support the decisions acknowledging that the right thing was done. This is written before these outcomes, so the verdict will validate if I got it right, or if I am an idealist.