Today’s blog posting covers the second prong of the fraud triangle: rationalization.

In my case, rationalization was the easiest. Since I felt as if I were being cheated out of commissions, it only seemed fair that I took what was rightfully mine. I felt I was under appreciated and under compensated and that my partner failed to recognize my contributions. Like a ticking time bomb, it was simply a matter of time before I exploded. The time had come to level the playing field. I’d had enough and it was time to get paid.

Remarkably, it took only a few years for me to lose my moral compass. All the virtues I had embodied as an athlete had vanished. What happened to loyalty, integrity and character? I suppose I resented the notion that there was nothing I could do to change my partner’s mind. When I was playing baseball, if I felt that the manager wasn’t recognizing my performance, I could work harder. My stats would easily convince him that I deserved a higher spot in the batting order. Either way, I knew the importance of team first and accepted that the team’s manager had a reason for his decision.

As a cynical money manager, on the other hand, that sense of fair play I had learned through sports, didn’t mean as much. My manager and partner failed to adequately reward my performance. With Kenny’s statement that I needed to pay my dues, I rationalized that he was looking out for himself rather than for my interest as a contributing team player. Since he wasn’t interested in being fair, I rationalized that I would look out for myself.

Tomorrow I’ll address opportunity, the third prong of the fraud triangle.

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