Cheating for the Greater Good


Based on recent evidence, it's becoming increasingly clear that Lance Armstrong cheated—and coaxed others to cheat—perhaps habitually. 

If Armstrong hadn't cheated, he would not have won as many Tour de France championships. (If any at all.)

If he hadn't won those those championships, it's unlikely that he would have been able to create LIVESTRONG. 

And that would mean that hundreds of thousands—if not millions—of cancer patients and families would not have been helped since 1997. 

Therefore, it's OK that Lance Armstrong cheated. He cheated for the greater good.

I hope that conclusion bothers you as much as it does me. Because the same "greater good" rationale is used to support unethical business behavior every day.

Armstrong still refuses to deal with the issue head-on—either personally or as the chairman of LIVESTRONG, which is preparing to celebrate its 15th anniversary.

For the sake of the organization, and the people it helps, I hope he reverses that course and teaches people that to truly LIVESTRONG you have to LIVEETHICALLY.

BETTER LATE THAN NEVER (10/17/12): Armstrong resigns as LIVESTRONG chairman; Nike ends contract with cyclist. RadioShack, InBev and Trek ditch Armstrong, too. Why did it take so long? Bazerman and Tenbrunsel call it "motivated blindness."