The latest imbroglio created by thoughtless conversation, oversized egos and lack of human decency, was a ripe moment for a genuine and authentic apology, followed by a swift kick in the can and canning. But that didn't happen. The object of the company's bile, a well known and well read technology reporter, and customers, including the public at large, instead were treated to nothing more than a "whoops" we are sorry from the big "boss," who has a record of such superficial mea culpas.
The crux of the problem is that words were said but none authentic or genuine. And the words were not backed by action. The offending executive should have been summarily dismissed as an example of the company's understanding of the gravity of the offense and its seriousness in making amends..
Time and again, history continues to repeat itself. And on and on, the executive suite loses site of the situation's gravity. This is an issue that is rearing its ugly head with some frequency in Silicon Valley. Apologies must get better if companies are going to be taken seriously to address their current perception issues.
So here is a prescription. Listen up C Suite.
1. To avoid apologies in the first place, hire managers that understand what is good management. Recruit executives that are servant leaders minus the ego.
2. If you screw up, apologize immediately if not sooner. And make sure there is authenticity, honesty and integrity in the words.
3. Follow up the apologies with immediate action. Show your constituents that you mean business. Demonstrate that bad behavior will not be tolerated. Remove the offending executive. Visibly demonstrate your leadership and that you understand how critically important honesty and good behavior are to the success of your company.
4. Make amends. What ever it takes, implement remedial action that speaks to resolution, satisfaction and prevention. Fix the problem and institute action to prevent any re-occurrence in the future.
5. If you are the CEO, do it yourself. Step out and step up. Take personal responsibility and action. You are the boss. Earn your keep.
6. Change the culture. If your company does not have the right atmosphere for work and play, change it, re-invent it or start over.
7. Be the example. Your behavior is your stock in trade. Your's is the lead others will follow. If you cannot lead, leave. Have your board of directors hire someone who can inspire good moral character, solid performance and ultimately happy constituents.
It's all about the boss. About the boss.
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