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Gupta's insider case and HBS's Professor Life Mantra

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I found this under the comments section of WSJ’s article “Insider Case Lands Big Catch”.

This is incredibly sad, that someone who was as much a pillar of the business world like Mr Gupta should come to this.

This brings to mind HBS professor Clayton Christensen’s exhortations to students in the last day of class:
“First, how can I be sure that I’ll be happy in my career? Second, how can I be sure that my relationships with my spouse and my family become an enduring source of happiness? Third, how can I be sure I’ll stay out of jail? Though the last question sounds lighthearted, it’s not. Two of the 32 people in my Rhodes scholar class spent time in jail. Jeff Skilling of Enron fame was a classmate of mine at HBS. These were good guys—but something in their lives sent them off in the wrong direction…
Over the years I’ve watched the fates of my HBS classmates from 1979 unfold; I’ve seen more and
more of them come to reunions unhappy, divorced, and alienated from their children. I can guarantee
you that not a single one of them graduated with the deliberate strategy of getting divorced and raising
children who would become estranged from them. And yet a shocking number of them implemented
that strategy. The reason? They didn’t keep the purpose of their lives front and center as they decided
how to spend their time, talents, and energy… [Avoid] the marginal cost doctrine in our personal lives when we choose between right and wrong. A voice in our head says, “Look, I know that as a general rule, most people shouldn’t do this. But in this particular extenuating circumstance, just this once, it’s OK.” The marginal cost of doing something wrong “just this
once” always seems alluringly low. It suckers you in, and you don’t ever look at where that path ultimately is headed and at the full costs that the choice entails. Justification for infidelity and dishonesty in all their manifestations lies in the marginal cost economics of “just this once.”

Written by admin

June 17th, 2012 at 7:10 am

Posted in Business,Living

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