Be Careful When You Are 100% Correct

by Roy Snell, CEO SCCE

People are often careful when they are not sure how to fix a particular problem. They do their research and bring everyone along. Everything is covered and everything is explained, when you are in doubt. However, when we are 100% correct we let our guard down. At least I do. I get indignant and ask questions like “why do I have to explain this all over again?”

I reminded myself of this as I go about my daily activities. I have been in the compliance profession in one form or another for 18 years. I have been in business for 34 years. I have managed people most of that time. I have some specific experience. There are some things I know that are just not debatable. We all have those things we have done right and wrong so many times that there is no reason to debate how to do it again. Right? Unfortunately if you believed this you would be wrong. It’s not enough to be right.

Being right is a good start. Knowing there is no doubt that you have the facts correct is a good place to begin. However, I meet way too many people who go from a wonderful position of being right only to become useless. They become useless because they let the fact that they are right justify some very bad moves on their part. Some become indignant and turn everyone off. Others forget that they have to bring others along. And they don’t make a convincing case because they feel like they don’t have to because it’s all just so obvious to them.

I have some advice, advice that I am desperately trying to accept myself… “Get over yourself.” Back up and explain why something needs to be done like the other person you are talking to has no experience whatsoever on this topic. The irony is that being right is useless if you can’t convince others to do the right thing. Indignance is not only unsightly, it’s a major source of failure for bright people who were 100% right but are now wrong because they failed to achieve the objective of fixing the problem.

Reprinted with the permission of the Journal of Health Care Compliance


  1. As compliance officers, it’s good to be smart but better to be wise. Wisdom, in this context, means engaging management, understanding their needs, and persuading them. Being right means little if you are not relevant.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here