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What to Do When a Colleague Acts Unethically

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This story appears in the August 2015 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Q: One of my law partners had an intern pretend to be him and take an course the partner needed to satisfy his continuing legal education requirement. When I learned about it, I challenged his actions. He pushed back, claiming he'd created a win-win situation: The intern benefited by taking the course, and the company benefited by his signing a new client while the intern stood in for him. He accused me of making a big deal over nothing. Am I?

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A: This problem is bigger than lying; it underscores what happens when arrogance takes over a leader's thought process. It can be hard to argue with anyone who has rationalized his self-interest and unethical behavior into a benefit to others. Challenge him on something he has decided is the right way to act, and he's sure to throw up a wall of righteous indignation.

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