People have an amazing ability to justify anything in their minds. ‘Abilities’ is defined in the free dictionary as “The quality of being able to do something, especially the physical, mental, financial, or legal power to accomplish something.” Our emphasis is on the financial. (perhaps it should be on the power to accomplish something?) Positive proof exists and suggests that one can be asleep, miss critical factors, destroy their company, and still walk away a bonus, although slightly embarrassed. Take the case of Northern Rock.
Northern Rock said Adam Applegarth was entitled to a termination payment equivalent to a year’s salary. Without providing details, it said the payment was “substantially less” than the amount Applegarth would have received before the bank’s troubles. The amount? A $1.51 million USD (£760,000) payout. Now Applegarth must justify – in his own mind – that he was entitled, not embarassed, and did nothing wrong. It usually happens, but may take time.