It seems something happens to people when they become rich and successful. I don't think being rich and successful means you have to break the law or commit other immoral acts. I believe there are ways to avoid these situations, which actually are not limited to the rich and successful. The first line of defense is to remain true to your values. Most people's values don't include lying, stealing and wiretapping. If you keep in mind what is most important to you, the chances that you will be tempted to do something illegal or immoral are slim. If you stay true to your values, the chance of getting into sticky situations is more unlikely. I am not saying this is easy however I believe that staying true to your values will make your life much less complicated.
The second way to steer clear of trouble is to avoid the worst enemy of humankind, the tendency to justify. The minute one has to begin justifying his or her actions, the red flags should fly. You don't have to justify what is right, but when something is wrong there are a million ways to justify the action. Even Dunn is justifying her actions. Dunn commented that, "These leaks had the potential to affect not only the stock price of HP but also that of other publicly traded companies," (Associated Press, Sep. 12, 2006). Although this may be very true, two wrongs do not make it right.
The third way to avoid getting into trouble is simple but provides powerful protection. Have a best friend or confidant who will tell you the truth and call you on what you are about to do. I have made a pact with one of my best friends that if he ever thinks I am doing something stupid that will get me into loads of trouble, he is to immediately tell me and do what he can to stop me. I believe that if we surround ourselves with people who will tell us the truth, many mishaps could be avoided. I personally would have loved to have had five minutes with Martha Stewart just so I could have said, "Martha, what are you thinking?" It appears many rich and successful people surround themselves with "yes people" and that isn't a good thing.
Let's review: the three ways to stay out of jail, avoid embarrassing your family and ruining your reputation are to
Remember your values and stick to them
If you follow these rules you will forestall ever seeing your name on the front page of the daily paper for doing something less than stellar.
Disbennett-Lee, PhD provides daily motivation, information and
inspiration to thousands of people through her award winning e-zine
365 Days of Coaching. For a free report, "The Power
of Daily Action - How to create more Wealth, Health and Happiness
by Tapping Into the Power of Daily Action" go to