As a nation, and perhaps as a species, we reward success above all else.
I am in sales and a mantra I have heard many times is, “exceeding quota covers a multitude of sins”. Did you show up hungover to a team meeting? Did you grope someone at an after-hours event? Did you mouth off to your boss?
These are things I have all personally witnessed at work and the one question always asked was, “are they hitting their quota?”
Why do I bring this all up you ask?
As you may have read Uber is having a tough few months and an even worse week. I won’t jump on the bandwagon to bemoan their culture, but I will say it’s probably not limited to them alone.
Because we have put value in success above all else it is easy to forgive when those companies or people err.
In my professional life I have had an opportunity to work in both large and small organizations. These are all made up of people with strengths and weaknesses, but one common thing I see is those that produce revenue and growth get away with a bit more.
Now this is only anecdotal, but headlines can support this claim to a degree. Uber, Google, Wal-Mart have all had scandals or missteps.
While this may not be indicative of social decay, it points to an opportunity for improvement.
One thing I truly believe is culture begins with self.
The choices we make as individuals are what shape the greater group.
When I see these stories of harassment, abuse or other issues it is not a company that is doing it, it’s an individual. Personal responsibility must be an expected outcome if we want a change.
How can we start?
There is always the Golden Rule or Karma to consider.
If you want to consider science alone we can look to Newton’s third law as reference.
All of these have a common theme — your actions will have equal reactions in measure.
Perhaps that can be a basis for culture moving forward?
Image credit: Dani Mettler