Amid investigations and indictments and “tell all” books the New York Times this week published an Opinion piece by an anonymous author purporting to also represent others within the White House to much debate and fury. “Treasonous” shouted the president and his proponents. Rather, I would argue, it is the perfect demonstration of what can happen when a workplace is damaged and dysfunctional.
Picture your work environment. There is no doubt a hierarchy and, ultimately, “The Boss.” Is there the ability for conversation, healthy debate and dialogue? Is there a culture of mutual respect put forth at all levels of the organization – especially at the top where the tone is set? If not, there should be. If not, you are sowing the seeds of discontent borne of feelings of employee helplessness and disappointment.
That is not to say that what happens behind closed doors should be aired outside of them. Although, in this case, and as we have seen time and time again, this is a president with often bizarre impulses. A supposed leader whose ideological misjudgments must be constantly kept in check and backpedaled on. When you consider that all we see is the public persona, it is chilling to think what those who work for him face to face and day in and day out see and experience. Some evidently have not yet given up and felt that somehow, somewhere, their collective voice needed to be heard and considered.
It is not the first time an anonymous “source” has been given credibility by mainstream media. Just consider Woodward and Bernstein’s Washington Times “Deep Throat” which led to the unveiling of illegalities by Richard Nixon and his staff in the 1970s. These officials are elected by “we the people” to represent our liberties and freedom. We have a right to know when they are not acting in our best interests.
Dictators and despots beget coups. Bad behavior leads to whistleblowers. This week is a lesson for us all to look inward at our organizations and how best to provide our people a voice to be heard and respectfully considered.