Most of us are well aware of Ellen DeGeneres. Y’know, the very creative TV personality who has a huge empire built on gentle humour, amazing dancing and a ‘be kind’ ethos. Her business longevity stats are awesome too. Almost twenty years, 3,000 episodes, and over 1,000 staff members.
So, have you heard that her show is now under investigation for having a toxic work environment? And even though initial observations have pinpointed the toxicity begins and ends with three senior managers, many are holding her – the grand dame herself — responsible. Is that right or even fair?
Yes. I believe it is.
Years ago, I had a client who asked me to help turn them around and make them profitable. Inside of six months, I was leading them through a horrendous bankruptcy. What happened?
A senior manager (and trusted friend of the boss) had been stealing inventory and clients on the side and covering his tracks for close to five years. The boss had a love affair with booze and cocaine. So until the business profits fell to breakeven, he was oblivious to the underbelly of his business.
Ellen too has been oblivious to the wicked underbelly in her empire.
Here’s the thing. The boss of every business is responsible for the employees. Because employees are the equity that holds the business together, grows it and handles the customers with the utmost skill. The employees. All employees.
I have yet to meet a successful boss who claimed, I trust them completely in their jobs. However, I have met many successful owners who declared, I trust them to do their jobs and even now, I still verify.
What that means is successful bosses know the reputation of their business rests on their shoulders. Regardless of the activities that they do or do not love to do. Regardless of how famous or successful they become.
The successful ones
know they and they alone set the example. So, when everything goes well, they share the accolades. And when things go south, they personally take full responsibility.
In very simple terms, Ellen is responsible for her empire. She is responsible for her team members. Because she was not a good boss, she abdicated her leadership responsibility. And needs to deal with all the fallout. Now.
By the same token, my bankrupt client had shirked his responsibilities years before it went bankrupt. He, not his crooked employee was responsible for the ultimate demise.
Against that stark background, how do you manage your business? Do you trust, and NOT verify? Interested in some help to get or stay on track? Go here.