“If you are the one who should know better, do better!” – Futurist Jim Carroll
People are often the authors of their misfortune, the engine of their own misfires, and the initiator of their own missteps.
They create our own mistakes and engineer their own failure – even when they know they shouldn’t. Sometimes it goes so wrong that they end up manufacturing their own downward spirals.
It’s by recognizing this and accepting this that we can do better – understanding how to carefully think through any decision, analyze any option, and interpret any turning point, for insight on the right thing to do. If we know something is the right thing to do but we do something else regardless, we aren’t doing the right thing, are we?
Think about it though – how many people do you know who have brought trouble upon themselves through their own actions or decisions? It could be a legal situation where someone is responsible for their own unforced legal issues. It might be a personal situation where someone has dishonest or misrepresented themselves². Or it could be someone who has made poor choices that have led to negative personal consequences. We’re witnessing one such situation play out in real-time right now, aren’t we?
In all of these situations, hiding in the background has been the ‘angel of their better self,’ their conscience, pleading and guiding them to try to do the right thing. And yet, circumstances, ego, arrogance, or hubris can dictate that they won’t. In other cases, an addiction, mental illness, or personal challenges mean that they simply can’t.
Companies do this too – they invest in the wrong markets, develop the wrong products, pursue the wrong business, and try to preserve their own way of doing things – when all the same time in the back of their minds, the leadership team knows that this is not the right thing to do. They keep on going even when they know the wrong decisions have been made. They are too busy trying to pursue business model preservation rather than aligning with the realities of the business model. disruption – and in a world of fast-moving markets and fast-moving change, this often does not end up going well. They are too focused on trying to ‘save face’ when the reality is that this very effort will end up causing them to lose even more face! It’s often the dreaded sins of hubris and arrogance that bring them down, the blind idea that they are ‘too big to fail’ or ‘too certain to succeed.’
In other cases, a series of poorly thought-out or poorly executed decisions can lead to predictable circumstances. I went off and did a search for the phrase “author w/5 own misfortune and company” – meaning, give me any articles where the word ‘own misfortune’ appears within 5 words of the word author, and which involves a company – and this is what I got! (This is an example of the very powerful research service I use called Dow Jones Factiva.)
It’s a well-known Canadian situation from last year in which a leading media/telecommunications company fired its most popular news anchor – primarily for the sin of aging gracefully!
The Financial Post reports in its Wednesday edition that by any measure, Bell Media has had a bad couple of weeks, and there is no question it is against the ropes. Guest columnists Howard Levitt and Maxwell Radway write that ever since the news broke that veteran CTV anchor Lisa Laflamme was out the door, media coverage has been dominated by the public’s viscerally angry response. News of the ouster of Ms. Laflamme caused outrage that the company did not see coming. This is a textbook example of what to avoid when cutting ties with a long-serving, popular employee. Many lessons can be learned from how Bell Media handled (or did not handle) Ms. Laflamme’s departure. Bell Media’s greatest error was misjudging the public as well as internal reaction that would result from her sudden departure. The employment lawyers say that as they see in their office daily, the first thing a fired employee starts talking about is how they were blindsided by their termination and feel discarded like yesterday’s trash. They feel they were not provided the dignified departure they deserved. This is especially true for long-serving employees who saw the business through tough times. Ultimately, Bell is the author of its own misfortune.
BCE Post says BCE’s Bell Media takes aim, shoots foot
31 August 2022, Canada Stockwatch
I love the phrase ‘takes aim, shoots foot,’ because that pretty much sums up the staggering incompetence that gets in the way of many a right decision.
When you know there is a better way and yet choose to not chase it, the consequences often end up to just about what can be expected.
If you know there’s a better way, go that way!