RaindropsTouchThe SurfaceOf a PondThere IsMovementThen RipplesThis IsHow It Works
© 2007 Raymond Justice
Jane couldn't believe the e-mail she just received from the CEO—copying the entire management team. The language was demeaning and disrespectful, reprimanding her for something when he wasn't fully aware of the details. Sure, he was probably frustrated walking into the project expecting it to be complete, but what the CEO wrote was something you would say if you were venting to a trusted friend over a couple of drinks where no one would ever hear you. Not only did he cut her down, but he bashed half of her staff as well. It didn't take long for it to leak, spreading to the rest of the organization. It would be difficult to truly calculate the amount of time wasted gossiping over this, the loss of potential sales, and the missed opportunities for creativity.
Most people realize that negative behavior can be lethal, spreading toxins throughout an organization. And when it's the boss or someone else with authority, the impact can be even more toxic because of this person's power and reach. The ripple effect of how this event was handled will continue to have negative repercussions for weeks and months to come.
When we feel we have no control over circumstances, it can be easy for us to then use those circumstances as an excuse to blame and complain and even become stuck, waiting for something to change. Think of the Accountability Ladder ...