February 5; What To Do When Influence Fails
365 Daily Bible Verse &
One-Minute Management Lessons For The Busy Faithful


5 February

But if not, be it known unto thee, O king,

that we will not serve thy gods,

nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.

Daniel 3:18

What To Do When Influence Fails 

An Honest Bureaucrat

In 1940 at the start of the Second World War the Allied Army was being pushed into the Atlantic English Channel by the German forces.

The Allies were facing disaster as they were being evacuated off the Dunkirk beach.   Facing the evil of the Germany onslaught, a British officer send London a cryptic transmission, “But if not…”

It sounds like code today but it was ‘in the clear’ in a previous generation. King and country knew their King James Bible and knew the reference from the Book of Daniel 3:18, But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.

The British Army was put in an impossible situation where the only option was to exit or die in the attempt.

Each of us in our careers and daily battles will face similar decisions. It may not be an evil army but it might be an unscrupulous supervisor.

We work with these managers — or maybe we work around them — but we may be asked directly to cross an ethical or even a legal line. Yes, our prayer will be, “I will call upon the Lord and He will answer.” But if not

Then. What will you do? When asked to follow what might be an unlawful order or face an ethical challenge there are three steps you can take,

First, Ask questions, questions, questions. Any supervisor will grow weary and can be shunted into a cul-de-sac of honest behavior if he has to explain-explain-explain in extreme detail why his clever expense budgeting should be submitted. Or how this creative accounting works.

Second, Just say “no.” But say it like any good bureaucrat, “I’m not sure I can accommodate your request at this late date in the limited time frame as required by section C paragraph 2.e as noted in the latest HR bulletin dated 29 May ‘13.” It years of practice to think like this but it has value here (and no where else).

Finally, at the end of your bobbing and weaving go ahead take the right (non)action and quit. “But I need the money,” you ask? Trust that the Lord will provide, but if not…

This is the time when you will have to finance your integrity; face your own Dunkirk and exit the company.



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