Whether you are BP or a Bodyguard, be careful of far-reaching consequences

My heart sank when I saw the article in the Belfast Telegraph; “Oil from BP spill may reach Ireland”.

Many Irish fishermen feed their familes throughout the year by harvesting the dangerous waters of the Atlantic Ocean during the lucrative fishing season. In remote areas such as Northern Donegal, in the province of Ulster, there is no other way for them to survive.

Generations turn to the Ocean for their livelihood. What will happen now if the shores of Ireland become polluted as the Gulf has? Will BP step up to the plate with a multi-Billlion dollar rescue package? I think not. BP is managed by smart executives who know how to fatten a “bottom line” (but not necessarily how to plug a leak). Each year they receive $2 Billion dollars in Govt. contracts from the Pentagon.

Who would have thought that a gushing crude oil well off the Gulf States could weeks later threaten the livelihood of European fishermen? We all need to be careful what we do today, since it could have far-reaching consequences.

An E.P. colleague recently spoke about an assignment that he was sure he was going to get. He had all the right qualifications and was on the “short list”. He was quite shocked and bitterly disappointed to discover he did not make the cut. He later heard through the grapevine that he was not included because his credit had taken some hits over the past couple of years and his credit score had plummetted as a result.

Even in these tough times it pays to pull out all the stops to protect your “marketability”. Just because the economy is poor, doesn’t mean that a prospective employer will understand unpaid bills and over extended credit.

Similarly, burning bridges at any time is a risky practice – in these lean times it could be disasterous. If you are looking for a job – put your best foot forward and if you have a poor credit score, it might be wise to mention it at an interview if you have a decent excuse why it became so.

The number of applicants in the job pool is ever increasing and employers can afford to hire the most highly qualified and stable. If you have a job, protect it with dear life. Survival of the fittest is the name of the game.

BP to pay for all damages associated with the Gulf Coast oil spill.

Maybe BP will learn a lesson after it has paid out of pocket for the costs associated with the oil spill clean up and the fines imposed for all of the wildlife deaths.

Watching news reports yesterday covering BP’s attempts to “cap” the oil spill off the Gulf Coast, brought up a discussion regarding their television ads which depicted BP as an oil company very much concerned with doing the right thing for the environment. In reality though, it seems that BP have less than 2% of their resourrces involved with alternative energy. In addition, their failure to provide adequate measures that would have prevented such an environmental disaster, must be a blow to the image they wished to portray.

Companies need to be careful of portraying themselves as something they are not. We pass this message along to the graduates of our training programs, especially to those who are planning on opening their own companies. there is nothing wrong with honestly stating; “we don’t provide that service/product”. Do not try to be “all thjings to all people”. If you do, not only may you appear as a “jack of all trades”, but you may jeopardize your ethics and therfore your reputation.

For example, there are those who purchase cheap TSCM equipment and then portray themselves as “experts” when they do not have the proper training or equipment. This leaves the client vulnerable and you liable for a lawsuit. Better to do the right thing each and every time. This does not mean that you have to turn down business. As a “trusted advisor”, you can refer the client to an expert who may give a “finder’s fee”, or sub-contract a true expert yourself.

Afterall, you wouldn’t want to look like a “BP”…now would you?