Sooner or later, each of us is going to say or communicate something that is hurtful, insensitive, or just plain stupid. Over the course of a business lifetime, this will occur on more than just a few occasions. To be clear, I’m not talking about the grossly out-of-bounds acts and words that you just don’t say or do in public, at work or, for that matter, even in private. I’m
Last month, a California jury ruled in favor of Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers, a leading venture capital firm, rejecting Ellen Pao’s claims of sex-based discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. As I followed the case, I wondered how Kleiner’s principals would have evaluated a possible investment target whose senior leaders were known to engage in the behaviors described in the trial.
If nothing else, wouldn’t Kleiner perceive that the firm’s leaders …Continue Reading
On February 10, we learned that Brian Williams had been suspended by NBC news for six months without pay following the revelation that he provided false information regarding a 2003 wartime incident in Iraq. His case made as much news as many of the stories he and his colleagues regularly reported. While the circumstances are unique, there’s a vital lesson here for any organization facing what I call “big shot” …Continue Reading
The Wall Street Journal recently reported that financial service leaders are examining their cultures and employee attitudes on a range of issues to limit and manage risk. The reason for this examination is these business leaders recognize that statutory regulation and vigorous whistleblower provisions may not be enough to halt dangerous acts before they inflict great internal and public harm to the organization.
And, they’re right. Take a look at …Continue Reading
A while back, I was at a social event with a group of friends. As I was leaving, one of them, a colleague and friend I have known more than 10 years, made a painful ethnic comment to me. I knew he meant nothing by it and I winced – I thought internally – but maybe my face revealed my surprise and even some pain. I didn’t say anything; I