Last week I read a news story where a college student said she’s been given an F in her course by a teacher because she was Muslim. When you read the story and see that she was scoring A’s on the tests, it’s hard to justify the teacher failing her. She stated that during the year he said a lot of inflammatory things about Muslims but since it was a course she needed she stayed in for the year, “knowing” she was going to earn a good grade.

assumptions

When they talked to the teacher he admitted she got that A but said she’d failed 8 other assignments. When she was asked about that she produced those assignments and most of them had received A’s. She’s suing the school and the school is investigating the claim.
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I’ve written a lot about negative behavior I’m seeing on social media and in news stories. I’m often amazed when I read some of these stories because the person causing problems turns out to be someone in a leadership position.

anthony selonke vi
Geoff George via Compfight

Years ago I read a story about a mother who hired strippers for her son’s 16th birthday party & invited 80 guests. She tried to hide things by papering windows, but hadn’t counted on some of the participants letting the word out on what was going on.
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I believe an organization’s culture starts at the top. As we’ve seen from companies like Uber, trouble starts when the top leaders are a bit smarmy. Luckily, I tend not to believe that’s the norm across the board.


What I do believe is that many C-suite leaders start off with good intentions, yet somewhere along the way they lose their focus. They make promises that they either can’t keep or had no intention of keeping. They also often use their influence to get help from others to deflect blame from themselves.
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One of the best things about writing a blog for as long as I’ve been writing one is that I have lots of stories that I get to rehash, either because I’ve forgotten I’ve already talked about it or it’s in an old article that I know no one’s probably ever going to read unless I link to it… like I just did… but I’m still going to tell the story because it helps me lead into a different topic than that one was about.

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Simon Jobling via Compfight

Before I tell the story, I’m mentioning that there’s a video at the end that’s got the same title, which I created in 2013. It’s rare that I have a video that inspires an article, let alone 4 years later. That’s why I love creating things; you never know when you’ll come back around to something.
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I don’t usually have a new blog post on Saturdays but today is an anniversary. It’s the 16th anniversary of my officially filing for a business license.


I like milestone posts because it gives me a chance to look back over the past year to see how things have gone, and also to reflect on the past years. I started recording my anniversaries on this blog when I hit year 10, and I’ve been doing it almost every year since (in 2012, it came around the same time as my 1,000th post on this blog so I highlighted that instead). This year is going to be a little bit different because I’m going to include links to the previous posts below, and I’m going to talk about communications rather than leadership, business, or diversity.
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