Are you a good model?

Once I used an assessment as part of a training program I conducted for a client’s managers. Everyone really liked the assessment and the insights gleaned from it.

The owner of the company told me he’d like to use the assessment on everyone in his company. “Great” I replied, “I can work up a quantity discount. How many are you thinking?” He responded, “Don’t bother. I got an extra one and I’ll just copy it for the rest of the crew.”

I was dumbfounded. I hadn’t encountered anyone before who so blatantly told me they were going to rip off me and the assessment publisher. I stammered something about the assessments being copyrighted, but he waived me off with “They’ll have to catch me.”

Companies are usually savvy about avoiding copyright infringement. But this guy was clueless. Even if I turned him in to the publisher, he knew they wouldn’t spend much time beyond a cease and desist letter to prosecute him. He was too small potatoes.

However, his employees knew he was dishonest and unscrupulous. I’d guess that’s the kind of people who kept working for him, as the honest ones would move on. I’d also bet he had a good deal of employee theft as well. What goes around comes around.

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