A few days ago, out of the blue, a congressman had to resign amid reports that he had written inappropriately to a page, a high school student selected to participate in special programs for the federal government. During the ensuing hubbub, it turned out that he had engaged in the practice for awhile, and it was only now coming out that other people in positions of authority knew about it, but didn't fully pursue it.

This happens in regular business also, as it pertains to harassment and diversity issues. Managers, if they're not engaging in the practice themselves, almost always know what's going on under their noses as it pertains to things like this, but decide to look away because they don't want to get involved for whatever particular reason. Then, when things finally hit the fan, they try to dodge the responsibility by first saying they didn't know about it, then saying they didn't know it was serious, and finally usually admitting they didn't know what to do about it.

In business, there is no excuse to allow bad behavior to continue, especially if you're in a position of authority. You have to at least address the issue in some fashion before deciding what type of action, if any, to take. Waiting for someone else to take the lead will not only possibly bring down your business, but you with it at some point.