Dear Australian Cricket Selectors,
Ever since I was old enough to stand upright while my brother pinged tennis balls at me, it has been my dream to play for the Australian cricket team. It’s a dream I’ve clung onto, despite the fact that I am now old, slow, evidently not that talented and only play the very occasional game of beach cricket. But now, I just don’t want to play in the team.
I don’t think it would be good for my mental health.
You see, my values are very different from the values of the team, and research shows that being in this situation can be extremely psychologically challenging.
I also know this first-hand. I worked in a place where my values clashed with those of the organisation and it was a truly terrible experience. On my first day, the founder sat me down and proudly told me how she had built her company based on a big, fat lie. As someone who values honesty and integrity, this ‘inspirational pep talk’ was deeply disheartening. I lasted three miserable months at the job, before deciding that continuing to compromise my values just wasn’t worth it.
I don’t fancy being asked to cheat. I also don’t want to have to partake in the constant bullying of opponents which has become an entrenched part of the Australian cricket team’s approach. I guess you could say that I’m not really down with the whole ‘win at all costs’ mentality. If I had to lower myself to tampering with balls and delivering nasty taunts about opponents’ loved ones, I would never really feel like I was winning.
I want a job where I can maintain my scruples and I get the sense that a lot of other people are feeling the same way. We’re tired of organisations behaving badly. Whether its Volkswagen cheating on emissions tests, Facebook misusing our data or another multi-national profit-shifting to avoid tax, it’s really getting us down. We’re tired of leaders leading their people down dark, unethical paths. We desperately want the good to triumph, but instead we just keep witnessing increasing ruthlessness and more soul-crushing scandals.
We want to go to work and feel good about what we are doing. We don’t want to feel horribly conflicted, manipulated and stressed out about going along with something that is not quite right. I’m sad to say my dream job now looks to be a bit of a nightmare, so please count me out.