By John P. Benson, JD, AHFI, CFE, CIFI
CEO, Co-founder of Verisys Corporation
Copyright © 2018 b John P. Benson
Companies are a community of people, not an inhuman corporate beast that chews, ingests and discards individuals. This means we should always operate in a manner that is civil and respectful at a minimum and, hopefully, thoughtful, kind and compassionate all of the time. We should be supporting each other to help each of us achieve personal success as well as success for the company and its customers.
It is obvious that the public discourse has become less than civil and we have people in leadership positions in the business world and in D.C. who have lowered the bar with name-calling, harassment and threats. They are setting a very bad example and behaving like petulant bullies. Their behavior, however, is not permission to behave badly and does not mean it is now okay to behave that way at work, or, in our personal lives. And, further, wearing a badge of honor for no longer being politically correct is a ridiculous notion. Blurting out caustic, racist and denigrating slurs is not and never has been acceptable. There is much to be said for keeping your personal poison to yourself.
It is essential for business leaders to set policy and enforce decorum in the workplace and on the myriad of communication platforms we use when collaborating with our colleagues. Those on the unfiltered denigrating bandwagon need to know that kind of expression is not tolerated. This is not about politics. Political party, religion, gender, gender selection, race, color, height, weight, age, disability, place of origin and sexual orientation are not differentiators—you are free to be who you are, and to do so without fear of discrimination, harassment, being bullied, or the object of gossip or recrimination.
There will always be people in your life whom you may not like, get along or agree with—whether it’s their politics or position on myriad issues we are all confronted with daily. And, no one is asking that you like everyone, but you sure as heck need to treat them as you would have others treat you—with dignity and respect.
I encourage everyone to collectively embrace diversity—it has made us all who we are today. Remember, the differences between any one of us is minute compared to what is shared by all of us. The genetic difference between any two humans is less than 1/10th of 1 percent making us 99.9% genetically identical.
Please bring your best self to work. Strive to be the best contributor, the best colleague, and the best person you can be.