Learning from CEOs’ Viral Misconduct
Leadership "fumbles" are popping up left and right... we're using fumbles loosely.
The ability to record nearly anywhere partnered with the overflowing desire and demand for transparent and liable leadership from employees is forcing ill-intentioned and unenlightened leaders to take accountability for their actions.
Read at your own risk of discomfort, the latest leadership breakdowns:
- 'Leave Pity City' by Andi Owen a CEO's leaked video of scolding employees for requesting bonuses goes viral
- Decades of Accusations toward Barbara Lynch brings to light misconduct from award winning Chef in Boston
- 'I've sacrificed...' by James Clarke a CEO gets backlash after praising employee who sold family dog after their return-to-office mandate
Has working so hard to be empathetic and supportive of their workers been so very difficult that CEOs are beginning to break?
It feels unnecessary to further bread-crumb the details in these cases, but also just as wasteful to miss the opportunity to learn from the consequences and ask ourselves 'where did it all go wrong?'
Nobody expects perfection... and people will fumble as they learn to grow their empathy and their supportive muscles but, as Andi Owen so aptly demonstrated, if we tread this path with disregard toward others we should expect judgement about how and when those fumbles are communicated.
Along with dreadful stories about Barbara Lynch, the chef-restaurateur whose patterns of treating people badly apparently go back decades, Ms. Owen has learned that our meanest selves are generally not going to be able to stay hidden in ‘private’ or ‘internal company’ communications forever.
Nor should they be.
So, what's the takeaway? What systems do you have in place to avoid falling into the "ludicrous CEO" trap?
Here are a few questions we think you should ask yourself:
- Do you have an accountability circle? How do you maintain transparency and honesty within these relationships?
- What do you do when you feel that you are putting up with more than you can reasonably bear? How do you monitor your emotional response?
- Is your organization setup to allow sharing hard truths from every employee level? How can you remove "yes-man" mentality from your culture?
It can be challenging to be an empathic leader at times, we're all human and hit our limits on occasion - but it is most definitely not impossible.
Cases like these are ideal for bringing light to our shadow selves by giving us a real life emotional prompt for self-evaluation.