Do the right thing or do the right thing for you?

Do the right thing

I sat in the car with the engine running wondering should I turn back?

I had agreed to attend an unfair dismissal hearing as a witness for a guy who had been mistreated by his ex-employer. My dilemma was that his employer was a big company that we were likely to be pitching to in the future on some projects that we were working on. This was a little tricky – I didn’t really know this guy that well but I did know that he had been treated quite unfairly.

I wondered why he was relying on me as I reckoned there were another few guys better placed to be witnesses but unfortunately with these things many people “don’t want to get involved“. In my early naive career days I struggled to understand why people behaved like that – but after a while you I understood the need to be careful and watch the big picture.

Anyhow I reflected on the situation, decided that he had been wronged and continued on my journey to his hearing – I honestly told them what I knew and along with some other evidence this helped to win his case and he managed to negotiate a settlement, which he put towards setting up on his own.

I am happy to report that it was probably the best thing that happened to him and he now has a really successful business – he also turned out to be a really great client of ours a few years later!

Sometimes we are faced with these tricky situations and it can be hard not to think of your own interests first. It’s probably being irresponsible but when it comes down to it – maybe we should just do the right thing.

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion Marketing & PR

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23 Responses to “Do the right thing or do the right thing for you?”

  1. Trich Says:

    It sounds to me as though you needed to the right thing Greg, as opposed to should! Well done for being true to your truth.
    Ireland and the world needs more truth, responsibility and a healthy conscience!

    Bravo \o/


  2. socialbridge Says:

    Greg, such a well-written piece and very thought-provoking! The car seems such a metaphor in all this – what is the driving force in life, what are the ‘rules of the road,’ when we look in the rear view mirror, are we looking into our own eyes or watching our backs or…? More than anything, I admired your willingness to let us get into the car with you and hear your thoughts ticking over. A great lesson in so many ways. Thank you.

  3. Colm Healy Says:

    Hi Greg,
    for a small piece there’s lots in it, but at the end of the day we all really have to do what’s right. As they say ‘you can fool everyone else but yourself’, and that’s who you have to live with. This piece has (in my mind) some parallels with another piece ‘bad business’ because something we can all overlook or not take into account is what would you hope would happen if you were in that position? and feeling very vunerable etc etc – I know I would hope that I could rely on ‘the guy in the car’ (since we seem to love this analogy) to be there for me.
    Sorry not meant to turn into a sermon.


  4. Mark Says:

    Greg, While you agonised over your decision, no one ever got into real trouble for doing the right thing. At times we spend too much time over considering all the options that opportunity can then pass us by while waiting for us to make up our minds. The fact that you supported the guy you knew who had been unfairly treated, even at the possibility of losing a big client shows that integrity is not quite dead yet.
    A lesson for all of us I think!,

    Thank you,


  5. Youssef Says:

    Well done Greg!!!
    Maktoob is a world which describes what happened to you and the results you get…
    A great lesson in this days.

  6. John Lynch Says:

    Well done mate! In the final analysis, doing the “right thing” seems to have paid off in the long-term for you. And what would you have felt if you had turned the car around instead and your man had lost his case?

    SimilarIy, I wonder about those people who ignored that Chinese toddler lying in the road after having been run over…

  7. Colm O'Brien Says:

    Nice story Greg

  8. Nancy Keane Says:

    In my experience, doing the right thing is always the best. It is doing the right thing for yourself that can eventually come back to bite you. It was indeed a dilemma, and you chose wisely!

  9. David Doyle Says:

    Hi Greg

    You certainly did the right thing! It’s also good lesson to remind the rest of us that ‘honesty is the best policy’ – integrity is better again!

    David Doyle

  10. kieran bennett Says:

    well done greg,you drove in the right direction,and helped david bring down goliath.

  11. Michael brennan Says:

    You are now the “driving force” between what’s right and wrong. Even if you did not get the business after your conscience is clear and you can sleep at night. If the truth hurts, always say it.

  12. Fergal Bell Says:

    It’s a difficult situation when you don’t have the benefit of hindsight to tell you what to do. Clearly it worked out well in the end but you didn’t know that was going to happen. I guess that’s what makes it a hard choice.

    Fair dues to you for doing the right thing and it’s fantastic that it worked out well – although you didn’t say what happened to the other company that you might have been pitching to in the future.

    Even if it hadn’t worked out you demonstrated character and I think character builds character, which I’m certain stands to you at different points along the way.

    • Greg Canty Says:

      Fergal – I never managed to get work from that other company but maybe I would never have in any case. I guess you need your own compass when it comes to these things and you have to trust it. This one did challenge me and it was one I had to really deliberate about. Thanks for reading as always

      • Fergal Bell Says:

        It was obviously a difficult choice and more power to you for doing the right thing after weighing up the implications. I suppose we can’t guarantee we’ll get a ‘reward’ for making these kind of hard choices. Well done you.

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