Is your success dependent on the people that train your or act as a mentor to you? If you’re part of a company that has fraud in the upper ranks (and they’re getting away with it), does that mean you need to do that to get to the top? What about the other way around? If you find a short cut to the top, do you take it even if no one will ever know?
When I see upper management doing corrupt matters, I tend to wonder if they were trained to lie, cheat, an steal, creating a constant stream of dishonest training. Unfortunately with business going global, it is ok and preferred to do these sort of actions in some locations. But I’ll stick to countries that don’t allow bribery and dishonest management.
This issue lies within your own values. Most entry level jobs require a college degree in which at least some classes should have mentioned some leadership and ethics issues. So exposure to ethical issues shouldn’t be anything new. You grow up knowing (hopefully at least observing) the difference from right and wrong by making mistakes and seeing others make mistakes. So the question I leave you with is do you follow in your superior’s footsteps knowing they perform dishonest tasks? Do you confront them or even bring up the issue? Is this someone you want to become, or do you see yourself becoming more successful by being 100% honest everyday?
Starting your moral values at a young age may make it hard to change them in your future years. It’s your choice on how you want them to play out, just remember that it’s those choices that will define you in your career and life.