Our experiences in organizations are colored by interactions with interesting individuals who are motivated in sometimes familiar ways and who make decisions that influence us. Yet to focus on the choices of others in some ways diminishes the essential role that our own choices make in determining our path. This chapter concludes our focus on individual OB by turning our attention to how we lead ourselves.
Cynthia Cooper was moving forward in her accounting career at WorldCom as vice president of Internal Audit and looking forward to the challenge of new responsibilities. In a review of the financial books she inherited, she uncovered what appeared to be unusual transactions. Her first response was to approach the company's financial executives about these items. She was assured that a previous audit had reviewed them, and that she should assume any questionable transactions were appropriate and not her concern. Cooper then discussed the issues with one of WorldCom's external auditors, who did not seem alarmed. CFO Scott Sullivan, who was widely admired in the company and industry, dismissed her concerns. Still, the transactions bothered her, so she again approached ...