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Let’s Get Loud

Let’s get Loud. Let’s get Loud
Ain’t nobody gotta tell ya
What you gonna do
If you wanna live your life
Live it all the way and don’t you waste it
Every feeling, every beat

~Jennifer Lopez

The best quote I’ve read in recent times in relation to leadership strategy came from Mike Vacanti, Founder of Humans First (and a really insightful author). His message on LinkedIn was a simple ‘stop promoting assholes’. At first, it made me chuckle as it was really blunt… but it did get me thinking- what happened to some people in their learning that made them behave so badly – even appallingly in workplaces and then what happened in our societal learning that made that not only an acceptable norm but a promotional criteria? Find me a management structure that does not have that aspect in it. Look at how many look the other way- especially if it is in really senior positions. Then find me a number of people impacted by it -often psychologically. Ask yourself, why is that acceptable? I am lucky I am in a supportive team but that does not mean I should close my eyes to what is happening in the wider business space.

My guilty pleasures during LNB (lockdown Netflix binge) at the moment are Cobra Kai and House of Cards. The commonality in both is how early influences good or bad can set the moral compass. Ok, it’s fiction (and in Cobra Kai- cheesy at that) but both demonstrate the power of ego especially ego out of control and the destruction it causes. I’ve lost count how many times the reaction to me calling out poor behaviour has led to me branded sensitive- to the extent it damaged me. I may be sensitive but it does not mean the other person isn’t behaving like an asshole right? Luckily I bounce back but I am lucky. The behaviour though that caused the pain was allowed to happen…and I still remember it.

Then I thought can people be rehabilitated? My answer to that currently is only if they want to. That takes courage and looking inside yourself. The more important question though is why would they want to? What is the prize/incentive? Would it affect their promotional opportunities if they showed a softer side? Wider society still does not call out the behaviour strongly enough and is addicted to ‘macho’ in all genders. When considering promotional opportunities embedding kindness as an integral need for leadership is still way down the criteria.

But as JLo sang if ‘You’re not hurtin’ anyone, Nobody loses’. Personally, I’d rather sleep at night.

So let’s get loud about what is not right in our working environments and keep egos in check by not promoting those that don’t deserve it.

We mustn’t be silent on things that matter. That is my constant reference point. It is not an easy journey but compromising on what is important always leads to suffering somewhere for someone.

Michelle Harte
Michelle Hartehttps://hresque.co.uk/
Michelle Harte is the Founder of HREsQue, an organisation committed to bringing the best out of people at work. She is both MBA and FCIPD qualified and has over 20 years experience in both HR and OD. Along with undertaking largely culture change assignments Michelle regularly blogs and interviews thought leaders from across the leadership space as a committed networker to help build and share ideas in the collaborative space.

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