I'm a big believer that leaders need to speak up. Not some of the time...not once in a while...but all the time. This is particularly important when someone is being attacked unfairly.
But it's politically treacherous, right?
Get Me Out of Here
It often begins as a veiled attempt at humor. A sharp comment during a meeting that appears to be well-intended. But then it continues...and feels different when the next comment seems to get more serious.
The impact triggers the same set of emotions every time.
- awkwardness, nervous laughter, eyes darting around the room
- then, as the behavior continues, all eyes focus on their phones or the floor
You now sit quietly and feel as if you are stuck between the aggressor and the victim.
...no sound...I feel you near...
Time for Action
Allowing these behaviors to continue in your organization (or mine) is a catastrophic leadership failure.
There is no other way to describe it...hide it...or sweep it under the carpet.
If you believe the hours of wordsmithing you've done to build your values statement were worth it, then you have to live those values through action.
Even when senior leaders act like jerks.
...heart pounds...but nothing moves...
How About You
When was the last time you experienced one of these awkward moments? Did you stare at your shoes or check your email? Guess what? The person on the receiving end of the behavior was desperately hoping you would speak up.
I'd love to hear from you.