Doing the Right Thing

Brenda McDermott, CPCU, SCLA, ARM, AIDA, AIC, CIIP

The accomplishments of so many talented athletes at the 2022 Winter Olympics have unfortunately been overshadowed by the alleged actions of one young skater who has been accused of cheating by testing positive for a banned substance. Adding to this allegation is the long history of her country’s past bad actions related to doping.

The news has focused on the public outrage for her being allowed to compete and how it has diminished the accomplishments of her competitors and may keep them from their moment on the podium. She has been allowed to compete because of her age. But let’s remember unlike an ordinary 15-year-old, her training and participation in multiple prior competitions has made it clear what substances she can and can’t take. And while Olympians are still amateur athletes, in many ways she is a professional. And as a professional she should be held to a higher standard.

We, as insurance professionals, are held to a higher standard. We work in a heavily regulated industry. If we break the rules there are regulatory and legal consequences. Imagine being on the world stage when caught breaking the rules or being accused of breaking the rules. That accusation could be career ending for us and could result in fines, loss of trust, or legal consequences for our employer. And in an industry built on our customers trusting we will keep our promises, who wants to do business with a company whose employees break the rules and violate that trust?  

So how do we avoid or reduce that risk? Maybe by ALWAYS asking:

  • Do I want my actions to be the lead story on the nightly news?
  • What are the repercussions from my actions?
  • Am I doing the legal thing?
  • Am I doing the ethical thing?
  • Am I doing the right thing?
  • Am I making this decision for the right reasons?
  • Am I delivering the promise we sold to our customer?
  • Am I living up to the standards of my profession?
  • Am I always respecting competition?
  • Am I free from pettiness and discrimination?
  • Am I giving service graciously and professionally, in the best interest of all I serve?
  • Am I doing my work willingly, honestly, and thoroughly? 
  • Am I performing in a manner that will reflect honor and credit to our industry through superior service to the public?

Maybe staying out of trouble is as simple as following the IAIP Collect and the CIIP Code of Ethics. 

Brenda McDermott, CPCU, SCLA, ARM, AIDA, AIC, CIIP is an MAL from Region V and currently serving as the Region V Marketing Director. She is currently a Workers’ Compensation Specialist in The Hartford’s Major Case Unit. 

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