Project managers stand in a specific place. Because of their role they know much about projects they run. They communicate a lot with folks all around: salespeople, product managers, technical staff, client representatives of all sorts etc. They get a lot documents which shouldn’t be shared with just anyone. They just know a lot.
Sometimes more than they would like to.
For me the example which shows the case vividly is corruption. Yes, this is more a problem of custom contracts and typical vendor-client relationships but I’m not surprised anymore to see such cases in startups working on their own self-hosted products where it is a game between co-founder and VCs.
I’ll be completely honest here. I loathe corruption. You haven’t expected to hear anything else, eh? Everyone would tell you so. I loathe corruption, but I have never rejected to work on a project like this or left the company because I’ve learned about the fact. It would be probably most precise to say I acted as I didn’t know. Now, that sounds more like a real person, doesn’t it?
If you asked me I’d prefer to lose a contract than choose bribery. I mean if I were a decision-maker. If you asked me how often I could make my call I’d say these were on very rare occasions. Usually when I faced this problem it was somewhere in the middle of the project when I learned that it hadn’t been a fair win in the first place.
What would you do if you found yourself in this kind of situation? Or maybe you’ve already been there? I know Central East Europe is a region where corruption is rather common but I don’t believe it doesn’t exist in the rest of the world. Actually there are places which are even worse.
I know we all are so damn upright. We’re so full of this shit if anyone asks. Except when we face situation when the lowest stakes we can play are our jobs things just aren’t so simple anymore. What’s your choice then? Would you fight with the situation? Or would you pretend you don’t know anything? Or maybe in your eyes it’s just a tool one has to use in specific environments?
Reaction to corruption and bribery is a kind of taboo topic in our niche. I haven’t seen people sharing their opinions and experiences in this area. I hope to see hot discussion below. After all there are no wrong answers here. It’s about ethics which is such an individual thing.