There was a time in my corporate HR days when I was complicit in allowing BAD leadership behavior to persist because the contribution of said leader to the bottom line warranted such complicity.
I don’t forgive myself. I probably never will.
All I can do from here is move forward; be the change I want to see.
The news these days is ripe with horror stories of harassment, assault, and myriad unthinkable things. And I imagine (and please don’t correct me if I’m wrong!) we’re all experiencing horror together.
But perhaps the most insidious issue of the moment is this: in recent weeks I’ve talked to multiple people (friends, colleagues, clients – both men and women), whose company’s leadership has expressed some version of the following: “I’m just glad none of that happens here. We would never tolerate such behavior.”
And in each instance, the story was relayed to me with an expression that said “Really? Have you asked around? Because I’ve got a story you clearly don’t want to hear.”
Aggressions in the workplace – against women or men, of a sexual nature or not – occur in many forms and on many scales. And any leader willing to stand up and congratulate their organization for not being part of the problem – without ever asking if there’s a problem – needs a reboot.
So many people don’t raise a flag not only for fear of retribution, but simply because they are unsure of whether the thing that happened – that was said or done – pierces the boundary of the acceptable.
Leaders. We need to set clear boundaries. And they need to not only be about the explicit touching of bodies. They need to be grounded in basic humanity and safety.
If you’re a leader wondering where or how to start. Please contact me today: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you’re a person wondering how to find the courage to speak up. Please contact me today: email@example.com
Let’s all be a part of the solution which begins with #ZeroTolerance
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