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Walk Into the Light

Walk Into the Light

When the day is sunny, cloudless, warm and bright, I am at my best.  In fact, most people I know prefer the light and enjoy being outdoors when the sun is shining bright. Even your indoor time is better because you know the outdoors are so beautiful.  It makes you want to open the windows and let that good stuff inside.

I have found the same holds true in the workplace.  It is good to keep things well lighted.   Bad behavior tends to occur during the cover of darkness.  Not only is it a good idea to light your actual office or work area, it is also a best people practice to light up your company culture. The company culture needs a good dose of light to keep things headed in the right direction because negative and toxic actions most likely happen in darkness.  In the famous Stanford Prison Experiment conducted by Dr. Philip Zimbardo, the worst behavior of the prison guards occurred during the nighttime when fewer people were around to watch them beat and torment their prisoners.

Toxic managers, office jerks and bullies only survive because they are allowed to spread their toxic venom under the cover of darkness. This darkness comes in the form of leaders looking the other way, human resource professionals siding with inhumane treatment of employees, posting code of conduct policies that are not followed by leadership, Alpha Males who are allowed to create mobs to terrorize individual targets in the organization, coworkers who don’t want to get involved, CEO’s who prefer to keep high-performing jerks regardless of the body count, or the mere fact not one leader is brave enough to step forward and call out the toxic individual’s behavior.  Firing an employee should not be an easy or enjoyable process but sometimes it is needed to save the organization.

Is there sufficient light in your organization? Do you have the official policies but subversive work is conducted behind the scenes in the dark of night?  Is there open communication up and down the organization? Start a revolution of light. Walk into the light and bring some people with you.

Image: iStockPhoto

Kevin Kennemer is founder of The People Group based in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Kevin is driven by his passion for company owners and their need to earn a profit, employees' desire for a positive and fulfilling work experience, and the community that benefits when both groups do well.


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