Like most people in business, I’ve always been a big believer in doing the right thing, taking care of people and being transparent and candid with everyone.

I’ve tried my hardest to always do this in my personal life and also in business. Nobody is perfect, but I keep this top of mind and think about it a lot. I believe strongly that most people are good people and always do the right thing. Unfortunately, there are exceptions.

One of my favorite mentors had a quote he would always rattle off anytime something bad happened to someone. He’d hear about the bad luck the person had and he’d say, “Well, they must not be living right!”

It’s unfortunate that bad things happen to good people, but in most cases if someone isn’t living right and doing horrible things to people, it’s going to come back around to them and they’ll regret it.

It’s common to hear discussions about karma and how it impacts people in their personal lives. I hear it mentioned quite a bit and it’s usually just a one-word statement after hearing about someone’s misfortune. But one thing I’ve noticed is that hearing about karma in business isn’t as common. But make no mistake about it, it’s there.

I’ve seen it happen time and time again. There’s someone in the company who treats people horribly. They are office bullies, they gossip, and they could care less about what they say and do and the impact it has on others.

This scenario is even worse when it’s someone in a management or leadership position. They have the ability to cause a lot more trauma than most, and if they’re truly out to make people miserable they can severely impact morale and the culture of an organization. I’m sure you can relate and have a few people in mind that behave this way.

Over the course of my career, I’ve unfortunately had to work with numerous people who fit this description. And in almost every situation the person who didn’t care about anyone but themselves ended up in a less than ideal situation. In other words, the way they treated people and behaved directly influenced the adversity they experienced.

It won’t come as a surprise to know that these people rarely make the connection that their actions and lack of concern for others was a major part of why they are in a tough situation. They don’t think it’s possible, and they don’t think it’s related in any way. But I believe very strongly that in business, good things happen to you when you’re doing good things for others. And when you’re not, you can expect the same to happen. Selfish and thoughtless behavior in business will come full circle and impact you in a negative way.

If, for whatever reason, you choose to be a horrible person and treat people badly, you better hang on for the ride and be waiting for something bad to happen to you in return. Don’t forget, this rule also applies to your professional life, and from what I’ve witnessed in business, it happens faster and the impact is more profound. It doesn’t take long for your professional reputation to be ruined and once it is, it’s extremely difficult to repair.

Christopher Thompson (christhompsnh@gmail.com) writes Closing the Deal weekly.