This shameful reality in a CNN video shows how many startups are failing the test of decency. Let’s prepare our sons and daughters to spot and avoid or hold delinquents and predators accountable, or lead and upgrade bad startups’ culture until the reforms take root.
We have prepared our children to expect equality in an unequal world. Hierarchies are a reality. Wealth, power, influence, beauty, and access set up decision-making authority which can have serious impacts on the quality of life. The rogue perpetrators who commit evil often collude and live behind a veil of secrecy. For those who are on the borderline, who see some incident that crosses the line and awakens their conscience, exiting is hard. If they leave they will be locked out of profitable transactions. Silence prevails. Evil survives.
Here’s advice for the new entrants, on how to avoid the vortex of evil and still rise to the top.
To avoid being in a bad situation, do this first:
(1) Check the credentials of the startup, incubator, accelerator leaders, mentors, and owners.
(2) Check their reputation. Do they uplift or manipulate? Are they encouraging or abusive?
(3) Do they respect their family/partner; do their partners accompany them to events?
(4) How do they handle children? Do they have any?
(5) What is their vision of leadership and how the organization fits into it?
Bridge your answers to circumvent bad people and their bad ventures. Listen to your inner voice. Seek trusted people’s assessments of your readings. Nothing is worth sacrificing your values. When you do so by choice, it kills a part of your soul. Don’t pay such a dear price. Instead, strap on a positive attitude and rise.
To rise to the top, do this always:
(1) Know more than everyone in your field. Be indispensable to your work, team’s, company’s success.
(2) Invest in others and grow them. Look for opportunities to contribute and invest. This earns you the right to seek mentors. Always have mentors.
(3) Have a voice and be visible. Speak, coach, guide, and share your insights. Be visible in the process of inspiring. Be visible.
(4) Stand for goodness. Stand for good values and let your presence convey this about you that you are on the right side of things. Always keep witness.
(5) Don’t keep secrets. The tried and tested Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts practice is priceless. Practice the Buddy System. Have a friend who fits these points. Take them with you.
Go attend all the functions and gatherings wherever they are and regardless of whom you might see there. Go to be seen, to enjoy, and to brainstorm ideas. Then come back and do your best work. Be the best in your work. No one will harass you. Now you will have the opportunity to shape and build a positive fear-free, predator-free culture of excellence:)
Lift other up and rise to the top too.