Consequences are the guideposts of your moral compass. If there were no consequences, people would run roughshod over each other. Items in your garage would be stolen by your neighbors. Police forces would become irrelevant. You would leave the doors unlocked because, what’s the point? Business would hire Grade 6 dropouts into senior management positions. You get the idea. Anarchy.

So what happens when you take an individual who has been raised in a virtually consequence-free environment and place him into a corporate environment where there are rules, expectations, structure, failure, mistakes, unfulfilled promises and bosses who are unforgiving? Think this visual over.

That's exactly what many parents are doing to their kids - raising them in a consequence-free environment. They try to protect their kids from falling down, skinning a knee, falling out of a tree and experiencing bullies. Parents interfere with the educational process and tell teachers what grade their child should be getting. They strip a child's competitive nature by celebrating a participant ribbon instead of 1st place. They raise their children in houses that are beyond large and buy anything the child wants so they never have to go without. They lie to their children telling them they can be anything they want even though they're too short to end up in the NBA and too fat for supermodel work. But they're still special.

Those same kids grow up to enter the work world and find out in short order that they're not special – they’re average at best perhaps even below-average in social-skills and maturity. They learn they can't be anything they want to be. They come face-to-face with the office bully and don't know how to handle it. They disappoint their bosses. They fail. They miss their targets. They lose a job. They live in dinky apartments because it's what they can afford. They drive a beat-up crap car. They suck with money because they've never had to earn it or handle it before. They end up moving back home with mom and dad because they haven't learned anything about life in their whole lives.

According to a recent survey by Adecco, a leader in Human Resources, forty-one percent of kids coming into the workforce today say they would lie, cheat and sabotage others to get ahead. In fact, these same forty-one percent feel that blackmailing colleagues to get them fired or to move themselves ahead is acceptable. It is a staggering figure with staggering future consequences. In twenty years, many of those forty-one percent who today feel it is acceptable to lie, cheat, steal and blackmail, will have done so and will find themselves in positions of influence at their own companies. These same forty-one percent will be the ones who influence workplace culture and Corporate Social Responsibility. These same workers learned their values from watching reality TV shows encouraging backstabbing, ganging up on opponents, creating alliances and then not keeping their words all in an effort to get ahead and win the prize money.

Reality TV is not the real world but it will be in twenty years if you, as parents, refuse to instill consequences. Where there are no consequences, there are no lessons learned. Where there are no lessons, there are no values and ethics instilled.

Parents, if you want your children to grow up to be something special, stop doing it all for them. Make them work. Make them earn. Make them do charity work. Make them encounter and face-off with bullies. Let them hurt themselves so they learn where boundaries are. Let them earn respect. They are not entitled to it.

If you want your child to have a decent shot at becoming one of tomorrow's leaders, then at least arm them with a few leadership skills, basic stuff they can use in the real world like accountability, responsibility and consequence. They'll be more prepared to make a difference and less inept at caring for you when you get too old to look after yourself.

Author's Bio: 

Kevin Burns - Author & Attitude Adjuster is a worldwide authority on Attitude. He is the author of eight books including his forthcoming, "Your Attitude Sucks - Fixing What's Wrong With Corporate America." He is an outstanding keynote speaker, worldwide columnist and international Blogger of influence. He is opinionated, blunt, direct, funny, thought-provoking and usually - right!

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