I remember as a young child travelling to one of the many horse race-meetings my father used to enjoy.
On one such trip, as we drove through the outskirts of town, we saw a car up ahead pull over. Glancing into it as we passed, we noticed the driver throwing punches at the passenger.
Apart from the sibling fisty-cuffs we had on the front lawn, this was new to my young eyes.
I remember Dad looking at Mum saying “That’s not right”. Those were not the days of mobile phones, so calling someone was not as simple as it is today. We did however travel further up the road and stop at a garage. Dad went in, asked to use their phone and called the police to report the incident.
Power-over and abuse of power have been a part of the human race from its inception. It doesn’t however mean it’s ok.
The recent horrific murder of George Floyd in America has highlighted once again the journey yet to be travelled on the road towards love.
We can watch the ensuing events on the tele, walk in solidarity, or send a quiet message of aroha in our minds. Despite this we can still feel helpless. But we can do something…today.
As leaders, the culture of your organisation has a huge impact on whether people choose to stay or leave, their level of absences, and their ability to collaborate effectively.
Often behaviours that destroy a team’s culture are insidious, disguised as humour, or even passive aggressive. If we hear them, and don’t say anything, then we too are the bystander guilty of endorsing the behaviour.
Even if we are scared for our own safety, we can do something. My Dad didn’t physically try to stop the attack, but he did say something to authorities immediately.
As leaders we need to model a culture where it is ok to “call-it”.
What I learned from my Dad that day was
The standard you walk past, is the standard you accept.
What is the standard you are accepting in your organisation or team?