Years ago I coached a senior leadership team that reacted to a crisis situation. Caught up in what the situation meant externally, the VP of Operations put a hard spin on the situation in an effort to save face. Then the chairman, thinking through the larger impact, asked the VP rhetorically, “Do you want to look good, or do the right thing?”
The statement was a sharp call-out. Caught up in the potential damage to their reputations and image personas, an elaborate cover-up seemed natural.