Your People Are Our Business

Thirsty Thursdays: Oh No Roseanne!

Thirsty Thursdays: Leadership and Roseanne Barr

Roseanne, Roseanne, ROSEANNE!!!  According to Sanofi, racism is not a medically-observed side effect of Ambien.
What does this latest fall from grace tell us about leadership?

Time and again we witness those who have wealth and popularity squander it by doing something stupid.  They make some idiotic comment, or behave in some abhorrent manner that neither their money nor their fame can redeem them.  Pencils still come with erasers for the mistakes we all commonly make but the types of extreme behaviors we often see give us real insight into the true nature of the person.  

A pharmaceutical formula did not spontaneously induce religious and racial hatred.  What might have happened due to fatigue, the drug's side effects or other influences is her inhibitions and inner filter were affected and the real person came through.  Sort of like how people say you really learn about the true nature of a person when they get angry and how they handle conflict.

lego storm troopers on bike - cropped.jpg


If you are a leader of others, from a first-line supervisor to a Chief Executive Officer, it is critical that you understand how your words and actions carry an invisible megaphone.  Every time you choose words of praise or scorn, and every time you put those words into action, everyone is watching and listening.

Like it or not you are on stage 24-7-365.  Do you expect your team to take direction from you and perform well?  Do you expect your team to get motivated when you rally them around a challenge?  Do you expect your team to follow the strategy and operational plan for the organization?  If you do then wouldn't they have to trust you and believe in you?  That's precisely why your every word and act matters.

Whether your a supervisor or a CEO, the only difference is the size of your team and the scope of your influence.

sheep with Alex the Great quote.jpg


Not only do your actions get amplified because of your role as a leader, when your actions are inappropriate and violate public policy you hurt many more people than just yourself.

Upwards of 200 people typically work on a popular and successful TV show.  Look at how Roseanne's actions cost the livelihood of so many people and families.  Taking into account approximately 75% of businesses in the United States have no employees, the average company size of the remaining organizations is around 60.  That's 60 lives and potential families that hinge upon the behaviors and actions of the company's leaders at every level.

Not only do leaders need to be aware that their role amplifies their actions, leaders must be very cognizant they are stewards who are responsible for the careers and livelihood of their people.


roadmap on dashboard.jpg

Roseanne's behavior is an excellent chance to share insights about what strong, effective leadership looks like in contrast to her actions.

Here is a very simple path to follow to ensure you are a great leader no matter what your job is...

  1. ORIGIN:               Integrity.  Can people close their eyes and believe in their heart what you're telling them?
  2. WAYPOINT 1:      Self Awareness.  If you aren't intimately aware of where you excel, you cannot add the most value.  If you aren't                                              intimately aware of where you are not skilled, you will subtract value.  And if you aren't aware of blind spots you could                                  cause a catastrophe.
  3. WAYPOINT 2:      Outward Focus.  Put others first.  Shine the light on others.  As soon as you become "in charge" of other people your                                        entire mindset needs to change.  Make it all about them.  You only get to have one "me" conversation each year, and                                      that's at your annual review.
  4. WAYPOINT 3:     Guts and Grit.  This can't be emphasized enough.  If you are not willing to defend your ideas and decisions, and take                                     risks when necessary, you are the sheep in the quote above.  Likewise, if you don't possess the fortitude to be relentless                                  in your belief and execution through the dark days please respectfully decline any promotion that puts you in charge of                                   others.                
  5. WAYPOINT 4:     Effectiveness.  This is an entire life's journey in itself.  I recommend reading Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things                                       Done.  A decent plan executed exceptionally well eats brilliant planning and bad execution for breakfast!!
  6. DESTINATION:    There is no final destination as a leader.  Stay consistent with the advice above, personalize it to the manner in which it                                   most resonates with you, add key life lessons of your own along the way, practice-practice-practice, and most-critically                                 share your knowledge with others to make them better leaders.

And a final word on excuses for bad behaviors.  No one wants to hear them.  Many times, like in Roseanne's example, they make things worse because they are blaming something else...a drug, another person's influence, fatigue, whatever.  My advice, when you hit rock bottom, stop digging.  If you can't make a sincere apology, and few people who aren't truly contrite can, just leave bad-enough alone and try to make amends through your actions.

You can be one of two things in life; an example for others or a warning to others.  Both generate value in theor own way, but how do you want to be remembered?

Thirsty Thursdays are about our collective thirst for learning and knowledge.  It’s not about Beer:30 [although HR4ALL is all for that, too!]  We hope this weekly nugget of knowledge opens your mind and gives you a reason to pause and think differently.    Have a great weekend everyone! 

Please follow HR4ALL on LinkedIN and Twitter