Welcome back and thank you for joining us in another episode of Companies Behaving Badly. Hope all is going well.
I hate to always reference to my old childhood days and how things were growing up back then but it is my baseline and even though comparing anything to today’s world is not really fair as it’s more apples/oranges kind of thing, seriously, who thought there would come a time when ethics, morals, accountability and responsibility would fade out of style? Who knew that the more debilitating problem for companies today is not the ever widening “skills gap” but is actually the “leadership hole”!
We are in desperate need of leadership as a large vacant hole has developed. Leaders that listen to every voice and understand their needs in developing consensus with all groups and that it is more important then just winning at all cost for you side. Unfortunately there is no short supply of examples out there of the existence of the leadership hole and by all accounts it’s only getting wider, deeper and we’re all sinking into it. Leaders who believed that they should be in charge worked hard to get good returns on investment, enough to keep the people happy and enough happy people to drown out the little voices, like wisps of smoke that would rise time to time of abuse and corruption which were really driving the ROI as ethical and moral behavior became profit stoppers. As long as things were good, a deaf ear was more than the latest corporate fashion. Luckily the same time as the voices got louder, these honorable men running corporations avoiding responsibility and accountability, believing ethics and morals are weaknesses rather then strengths finally had it all explode in their faces.
A gas pipeline blew up murdering 8, a bank caught creating fraudulent accounts, a social media company sold us all out. They accepted reality television accountability as PGE, Well Fargo Bank, Uber and FaceBook to mention a few now spend millions of dollars on ad campaigns telling us how sorry they are that they lied and let the green glow of cash and power blind them rendering their moral compass useless and the reason why they didn’t think twice about ripping us off. “We’re sorry” “We went astray” “Lost the path” “We’ll do better”. All things men caught cheating on their wives say. By all accounts not one of them has gone to jail and the ones who did lose their jobs, don’t waste your time feeling sorry for them, they landed on their feet with the ability to go astray again at any time. Cause “Love means never having to say you’re sorry” and they love us, or our green backs actually.
Those corporations were only the tip of the iceberg. Now the leaders of the largest colleges and universities who are entrusted with the task of teaching, training and preparing our future leaders has let us all down, giving the lesson that listening is not important especially if it’s something you don’t want to hear about the “good ole boys.” First hand demonstrating to future leaders how to ignore the voices of young women who only want and education and career but had to work twice as hard to get there due to the constant body shaming, abuse and rape! Michigan State and U.S.C. , great schools now saying how sorry they are. Even the city of Berkeley, California where many a mind has been enlightened over the years has sent the message to women of you are not important enough to listen too, as rape kits sat on shelves only collecting dust instead of collecting evidence.
Look I get it. When you accept responsibility it takes work, lots of work. Following up on work related issues, reviewing your process, talking to employees and listening, finding and filling the cracks in the process, budgets, competition, employee retention and your bonus. When you’re responsible you also need to be proactive as well, guessing what the future will bring and how to deal with it. That’s also hard work. That’s why so many of our leaders just keep the status quo, you don’t have to work as hard and listen to or care about all those whiny people and still collect all your bonuses even if they don’t make goal. Life is wonderful when you can shed all your morals and ethics for a few dollars more.
Will there be a new we’re sorry ad campaign in the future for–Bumble Bee CEO Indicted On Charge He Fixed Canned Tuna Price. Smart and lazy CEO decided hey, we don’t need to compete against each other and fight for a market share when we can all just share the wealth by pricing our product exactly the same. WE all win! When you shed your morals it is so easy to do and if you think they’re the only ones doing this…..
Then there is ethics I can never understand and seems both ironic and hypocritical to me at the same time. A human life is a human life, right? If I believe that human life needs to protected at all costs wouldn’t you want to protect them just as much from dying on the job as from the hands of terrorists? —Despite wave of fatal building accidents in Israel, safety is rarely enforced. Over 100 have died on the job since 2016 but they are still not taking workplace safety seriously letting many of these corrupt construction companies to operate freely and keep killing workers. If the PLO had taken 100 Israeli lives there would be an uproar for blood, revenge and retaliations but I guess when you kill your own building, that’s o.k. It seems to me if you protect human live all lives should matter equally.
We all rely on and love our local Firefighters. They do so many wonderful things like put out large and small fires, work in burning buildings to save people, rescue small animals from trees or sewers and make a fabulous calendar but one thing they are not is expendable. State fines Camas $4800 over firefighter safety violations. The city of Camas should be ashamed to put two firefighters in danger the way they did. The job is difficult enough as it is and the key to firefighting is working as a team to make sure everyone is safe while accomplishing their assignments during a fire. As I have said in previous blogs, my city of Vallejo, a population of 121,000 has only 21 firefighters on each shift and we still have to ask for mutual assistance several times a week between freeway accidents, house fires, chemical spills and other emergency calls.
Why be complicit in your own death? Wichita roofing contractor cited by OSHA. What kind of moron sends employees out on a roof without fall protection? Well Jose Barrientos for one, who was cites by OSHA for exposing employees to falls and other safety hazards and now faces proposed penalties of up to $191,071. To make it worse 2 of the violations were WILLFUL which means he knew it was wrong and dangerous to not provide fall protection and that someone could be killed but he DIDN’T CARE which is obvious since he’s been cited 5 times in the last 10 years. Time to shut him down! This is why falls continues to be the OSHA number 1 violation and killer. Don’t put your life at risk and if you are bullied or threatened to be fired for doing an unsafe act call the OSHA hotline 1 – 800 – 321 – 6742
Every job, heck everything you do has it’s own set of inherit dangers and how we mitigate those dangers and awareness of those dangers helps keep us safe but you still never know. These gentlemen were doing their job, covering a story to keep others safe. Thoughts go out to the families of TV News Anchor, Photographer Die When Tree Crushes Their Vehicle. This is why you hug, smile and say I love you every day to loved ones, for you don’t know how long that enjoyment will last.
Until next month my friends, (yes, there will be no issue on June 21, summer hours folks) stay safe and never keep quiet about safety, for the life you save may be your own.